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New Liberty Director warns supermarkets: ‘We are watching you’

Shami Chakrabarti, the new director of Liberty, is planning a monitoring operation on Britain’s giant retailers. Chakrabarti, formerly a high-flying legal advisor to two home secretaries, takes up her new post today.

Liberty is to set up a unit to monitor the experiments being carried out by various retailers with radio frequency identification technology. M&S and Tesco are pioneering the use of tiny microchips, the size of a grain of sand, which are inserted into the packaging of goods or sown into the labels of clothes.

Chakrabarti believes Britain, already the world leader in the use of CCTV cameras, is set to become the ‘surveillance capital of Europe.’

As from today Liberty will be monitoring the supermarkets and big chain stores. If we think a legal challenge can be mounted to stop their experimentation then we will make it. We will certainly be in touch with the company executives and we will do all in our power to let customers know what is happening. It is up to consumers to decide whether or not they want to boycott a particular store or chain but the companies must be made aware that this is the risk.

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