There is a new terror of modern life at the Broadway Market QFC: a clear, digital view of your own face.
The self-serve checkout kiosks at the Kroger Co. super market chain’s northern Broadway outlet recently began featuring new screens that display a live, full frontal view of each shopper as they go about the grim business of scanning and paying for their items.
“Recording in progress,” they promise.
It’s not pretty. And it’s not really that much different than what is going on in most modern retail environments where security cameras cover most every customer move.
“The updated camera technology found at several of our QFC locations functions no differently than the existing security cameras already in use at all of our stores,” a spokesperson for Kroger’s Washington region tells CHS. “They are simply an evolution of our current and existing strategy.”
But there is something new about the in-your-face view of the surveillance. And privacy advocates and technology types will no doubt note the opportunity for facial recognition technology — and more? — to be used in the future though Kroger didn’t say anything about that type of effort in its brief statement on the new screens.
For now, after watching Capitol Hill shoppers do their thing in front of the new cameras, CHS has only one bit of advice: maybe smile?
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