Tesco ends trial of cameras on self-service checkouts

Tesco has urged the Mandate trade union to call off proposed strikes in two stores in the coming weeks

Supermarket chain previously said the move was an additional security feature for customers

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29 June 2021 | 0

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Tesco recently ended its trial of front-facing cameras on self-service checkouts; a practice which had attracted some controversy.

The cameras filmed customers while using the checkout and displayed footage on the screen.

In a Business Post report, Antoin O Lachtnain, spokesman for Digital Rights Ireland, said Tesco had not explained what the recordings were being used for.

However, the supermarket chain previously claimed the move was an additional security feature for customers.

Six stores — Artane, Cabra, Clarehall, Dundalk, Dundrum, and Stillorgan — were involved in the trial.

Simon McGarr, a solicitor who specialises in litigation and data protection issues, was one of several shoppers who had raised concerns about the potential retention of the images on social media.

The Irish Examiner reports that Tesco initially referred people asking questions about the practice to its privacy notice. However, Simon McGarr said this does not contain any mention of facial data processing.

A Tesco spokesperson said the purpose of the trial was to provide an additional security measure for customers.

“This trial is operating in line with GDPR requirements,” the spokesperson said. “A data privacy impact assessment was undertaken prior to the trial and all of our stores have signage in relation to CCTV.”

At the time, Tesco declined to comment further on how the information will be stored.

A spokesperson for the Data Protection Commission said organisations using such technology must ensure they meet their data protection obligations under the GDPR.

“They must ensure they are only collecting the minimum amount of personal data necessary to conduct their business, that the data kept is accurate, and have an appropriate retention period in place to ensure the data is not kept for any longer than is necessary,” the spokesperson said.

“They must also be fair and transparent with individuals and inform them of the reasons for collecting their personal data, what it will be used for and how long they intend to keep it.”

 

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