Major retailers using facial recognition technology in stores

Three more major companies are being referred to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner over their use of facial recognition technology in stores.

More companies spying on consumers.


Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group has raised serious concerns about major retailers using facial recognition technology to record customer faceprints.

This is the latest revelation for the industry.

CHOICE is referring Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to investigate potential breaches of the Privacy Act over their use of the technology.

The organisation probed 25 of “Australia’s most-trusted retailers”, and found Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys were “capturing the biometric data of their customers“.

CHOICE consumer data advocate, Kate Bower, said the use of facial recognition by The Good Guys, Kmart and Bunnings was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary”.

However, the stores disagree, citing the need for’ protection against theft’ in their stores.

Bunnings’ chief operating officer Simon McDowell has said Bunnings “respectfully disagrees with CHOICE”, with the technology being one of several measures used to keep staff and customers safe.

“Our use is solely for the purpose of preventing threatening situations and theft, which is consistent with the Privacy Act,” he said.

CHOICE also surveyed more than 1,000 customers between March and April this year.

“To make matters worse, we found 76 per cent of Australians aren’t aware that retailers are capturing their unique facial features in this way,” she said. 

University of Technology Sydney professor Edward Santow, who is a former Australian Human Rights Commissioner, has said facial recognition technology raises serious questions about privacy.

“Even if that technology was perfectly accurate, and it’s not, but even if it were, it still takes us into the realm of mass surveillance.”

Once again, the stores in question disagree, advising of their use of facial recognition in the privacy policy on their websites, as well as public notices that grant consent.

Kmart, for example, displays small signs at the entrance of stores where the technology is in use:

Once again, the biometric dystopia creeps over the day-to-day operations of Australian retail.

During the pandemic period, it was revealed stores such as Woolworths had now incorporated biometric capabilities into self-service checkouts across the country.

Hidden in ‘privacy policies’ and ‘agreements’ when entering the store, retail is able to get away with monitoring customers, as well as the bar and club industry that has also had a makeover in recent years.

Where is this data going? Who is responsible for the programs?

A few questions that are not told to the ‘consenting’ customer.

Most importantly, this type of advanced technology is not just exclusively found in retail stores.

It has engulfed many elements of Australian society.



A multitude of systems have been developed across a variety of industries and avenues of Australian society to monitor, analyse, judge and identify individuals for ‘safety and security’ reasons.

In Australia, sweeping legislative changes and broad anti-terror laws introduced since 9/11 have sanctioned the rise of unaccounted surveillance methods, including the development of vast biometric capabilities for government and the private sector.

Facial scans taken for passports, driver’s licences or nightclub entry are stored in police and spy agency databases, while new CCTV and smart technology is being developed to monitor all activities.

This includes a significant increase in the use of biometric systems in Australia, including in CBD districtsairportsschoolspublic transportsupermarkets and more.

Coupled with the Australian government’s “Smart Cities Plan”, which sets out the government’s vision for ‘productive and liveable cities’ that ‘encourage innovation and growth’.

By the end of the decade, networks with highly sophisticated biometric capabilities will connect to a smart city grid where a national facial recognition databases will function as the primary surveillance mechanism.

All just to ‘stop the bad guys’, of course..


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10 comments on “Major retailers using facial recognition technology in stores”

    1. That doesn’t make any difference with these AI programs. All they need is part of your face exposed to make an identification, and a lot of these programs scan the whole body for measurements and can identify a person from their gait, as everyone has a unique stride when walking.
      If the technology was useless when a face mask is worn they wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars installing these systems in the first place. Besides, why would you compromise your health, well-being and ability to communicate, when that’s exactly what these evil parasites want.
      The best way to get back at these retailers is boycott their stores by shopping elsewhere, and getting together with others and picketing the entrances to their stores to make others aware of what they’re doing.
      If these human rights organisations were really on the people’s side they would be suing these companies for breaches of privacy and human rights. But as we now know these organisations are a scam and were nowhere to be seen when our rights were trampled on during this scamdemic. Our best coarse of action would be to come together and take out class actions against these tyrannical criminals.

  1. People fought wars over many generations just to have the rights that we have, and now the people are handing it all back!

    1. It’s bloody insane!
      The powers that be have done a thorough job at brainwashing and stupefying the population!

  2. The usual suspects once again. Do you think this is going to put off the majority of blind, ignorant shoppers?. Probably not but we will see. Remember…..the Good guys and Kmart especially, sell goods that are nothing short of cheap China junk. Bunnings on the other hand have monopolised the tradie/home reno market but they are showing their true colours now on who owns their arse. Avoid these sell out business’ as much as possible and ask yourself… you really need the shit that these companies sell?. Can you get it from somewhere else?

    1. I’m an Online person when it comes to shopping. Too many fuck wits out there who accepts this so-called “new-Normal”

      1. Then you’re just as ignorant as the rest of those fuckwits. The government and the banks want you to use your cards and shop online so they can track you and phase out cash. The Australian government just recently past laws allowing them to get access to your pc or phone through your ISP, without a warrant. They also have the power to alter or delete anything they want, which means they can plant child porn on your computer then come and arrest you if you’re a dissident, activist or a journalist.
        If you’re a regular TOTT reader you would know this.

        1. Mate, the ONLY way you can have privacy is dissappear from the system…how are you going to survive other wise? We get tracked ANYWAY genius! internet, phone how we BUY things, cash carry fingerprints too

          1. Lol!
            Mate, you’re the one contradicting yourself by saying “Too many fuck wits out there who accepts this so-called “new-Normal””, and implying that you’re not one of those ‘fuck wits’ because you shop online, when you’re accepting the ‘new normal’ by doing so. So you’re calling everyone, including yourself, a fuckwit for accepting the new normal, lol. I’ve survived without shopping online and at least have some privacy by using cash so the banks and the government can’t track what I’m spending my money on. And when I’m away from home I have my phone turned off or leave it at home. And saying “cash carries fingerprints” is an absurd statement because it’s impossible to trace fingerprints after cash has passed through multiple hands, and they have to know exactly what notes I’ve handled out of billions of notes around Australia, genius.

            It amazes me that people like you think they’re smart, yet are just as big a dipshit as the one’s you’re calling idiots.

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