The invasive measures that big American retailers take in the fight against shoplifting


Staff Member
4 Jun 2021
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It includes things like facial recognition for all customers entering the store, big databases and even the ability to read smartphone texts. This has privacy advocates up in arms and I can see why, but personally it doesn't bother me.

This really is a case of if you've done nothing wrong, then you've nothing to fear. Plus, I despise thieves: whether they rob small or large stores, it's never a victimless crime as we all pay one way or the other for their actions, so anything that can help to catch them and bring them to justice gets my vote.

I loved the sting tactic where there's a threshold of $950 where a theft goes from being a misdemeanor to a felony that carries much stiffer sentences. The stores identify the thieves every time they steal, but let them get away with it until that threshold is reached, then they apprehend them and take them to court for everything they've stolen, netting them harsher sentences. Lovely sting, that. :cool:

I'm not surprised at these measures, since shoplifting is now rife, causing serious losses to retailers in America and in the UK, so almost anything that can prevent or at least reduce this, I welcome. I suspect that UK retailers are employing similar technologies, but this report is only about American stores.

One thing I don't like is where the retailer locks up staple items behind glass, like toothpaste in the video, where a customer has to ask a manager to open it and get it for them. That's so inconvenient and so goes against the modern way of shopping that I'll go elsewhere if I'm faced with this. Other than this, if I see any anti-theft measures that I don't like, I'll let you know.

This video report explains it all.

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