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.