We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Dangerous razors

Telegraph reports that Tesco, a British supermarket chain, is taking pictures of everyone buying razors in a bid to cut down on shoplifting.

The experiment, at a Tesco store in Cambridge, has been condemned by civil liberty campaigners. Demonstrators have gathered outside the supermarket calling for a boycott until the “Big Brother” scheme is dropped.

Gillette razors in the company’s Newmarket Road branch are being tagged with individual microchips developed by Cambridge University’s Auto-ID Centre.

When anyone removes a product from the Mach 3 display, the chip triggers an in-store CCTV camera which takes a picture of the shopper.

Greg Sage, a spokesman for Tesco, said that the scheme was designed to keep track of its products within the store and stressed that the chips would have no further use once the products left it.

We would never compromise the privacy of our customers.

Police are said to be “impressed” with the images taken of shoppers, but civil rights activists claim that the microchips could soon be placed on a much wider range of products.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VK

2 comments to Dangerous razors

  • Junior

    Strange that it should be Gillette Mach 3 blades involved in this experiment The price for these items is so excessive that it is small wonder that they are the target of shoplifters.

    Can you imagine – well over one pound for a razor blade! – and they last no longer than the old double-sided blade, – it’s more than enough to make a man grow a beard…

    The type of marketing that enables a company to gouge it’s customers so unmercifully, is unfortunately becoming more commonplace and acceptable. Replacement cartridges for ink jet and laser printers are another example.

    Normally, in a free market, less expensive substitutes would gradually become available. But Gillette and the printer manufacturers, seem to be very ‘sue-happy’. It would seem that the courts side with them, by imposing some stiif penalties when cases come to court. Unlike the medication market, there is no defined time limit when these items become generic.

    I feel sure that our esteemed Monopolies Commision would have something to say – if these instances were bought to their attention. Gillette would be particularly vulnerable, having such a large percentage market share.

  • Julian

    Actually if you ever use Tescos you will notice that all their checkout points carry a warning against their being able to sell ‘open’ or ‘cuthroat’-style razorblades to anyone under 16. This is a part of the dangerous weapons thing that our Dear Leader has taken so to heart. Its worth noting, for any 16 year olds reading this, it is not illegal for you to go to any hardware or DIY store and purchase a Stanley knife …