NYC Supermarket “Collects Biometric” Data On Shoppers
A grocery store located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side uses facial and voice recognition technology to combat a surge in shoplifting, reported Patch NYC.
“This Business collects, retains, converts, stores, or shares customers’ biometric identifier information, which is information that can be used to identify or help identify you. Examples of biometric identifier information are eye scans and voiceprints,” a sign reads on the front door of the Fairway store on Broadway and West 74th Street.
“This technology is helping our stores reduce retail crime, an industry-wide challenge that has increased dramatically over the last few years,” Karen O’Shea, a spokeswoman for Wakefern Food Corporation, the parent company of Fairway, told local media outlet ILoveTheUpperWestSide.
O’Shea added, “Only trained asset protection associates use the system, which helps us focus attention on repeat shoplifters.”
The city’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams, is seeking to strengthen the state’s bail laws. These laws were revised in 2019 by left-leaning lawmakers who implemented social justice reforms to allow criminals to be released back onto the streets much easier. It has since backfired and led to a 45% jump in citywide retail thefts since 2021.
Some shopkeepers in Manhattan have resorted to employing guard dogs at the entrances of their stores to deter thieves.
Privacy advocates are likely alarmed at Fairway’s move to gather biometric information of shoppers.