Tesco facial recognition at checkouts will ‘change the face of British retail’ says Sugar

Tesco is to install facial recognition software at its checkouts to collect customers’ details, and plans to rollout the technology ‘into as many supermarkets as possible’.

The technology is provided by Lord Alan Sugar’s company, Amscreen, with the system, called ‘Optimeyes’, set to appear at 450 Tesco petrol station forecourts.

According to The Grocer magazine, cameras are installed in digital advertising displays above the tills identify the customer’s gender, age and how long they look at the advert.

The information is processed in real time and fed through to advertisers.

Amscreen chief executive Simon Sugar admitted that the technology "could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.”

“Brands deserve to know not just an estimation of how many eyeballs are viewing their targets, but who they are too.”

Tesco said Optimeyes could reach a weekly audience of more than 5 million people.

Nick Pickles, of Big Brother Watch, said the move introduced “a surveillance state by the shop door”.

"People would never accept the police keeping a real-time log of which shops we go in, but this technology can do just that,” he said.

The Amscreen deal will see the technology in place for five years.

A spokesperson for Tesco explained to The Drum that no image or picture of customers would be recorded or captured and no personal data would be captured by the technology either.

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