Cashless shopping in supermarkets: Privacy activists concerned

Cashless shopping in supermarkets: Privacy activists concerned

Shopping without a cash register is now possible in Germany as well. A few days ago – in Cologne – the first supermarket using the latest technology opened. But privacy advocates are skeptical.

All movements of the customer are registered

To enable cashless shopping, all customer movements must be accurately recorded – for example, when he puts a jar of jam directly in his pocket. The question is how this happens and what is stored. This is because sensors and cameras can be used to create an accurate profile of a customer’s shopping behavior. Face recognition is also used in Chinese pilot projects.

Privacy advocates handle cashless shopping

That doesn’t match our understanding of privacy protection, ”said Thomas Fuchs, Hamburg’s data protection officer at the Food Newspaper. Accordingly, the Data Protection Conference, an exchange committee of supervisory authorities, is also currently handling the issue.

If the customer clearly understands what data is being collected from him and he clearly agrees with it, then nothing will hinder cashless shopping from the perspective of data protection experts.

For the first time in this country it is possible that in the store in Cologne, customers, in the opinion of the operator Rev, must check in with an app and accept the recording before making a purchase. But there is no facial recognition. It is said that the system will not be able to identify the customer the next time they buy goods.

Model by Aldi and Tesco: Amazon Fresh

In London, Aldi checks payment at an unnamed supermarket. The role model is online retailer Amazon. One always tries to redefine what a discounter means, and the technology used in this test will give them a wealth of knowledge, says Aldi Head Giles Hurley of the UK and Ireland. Employees at the German retail group are currently testing the technology, and consumers are testing it in the next phase. British rival Tesco is already experimenting with cashier-less shops at its headquarters and is relying on Amazon technology.

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In March, online retailer Amazon Fresh opened the first cash register in London without a cash register in Europe. In the US, the online retail giant now has these two dozen stores, called Amazon Go.

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