Incident 391: Facial Recognition Trial by UK Southern Co-op Alleged as Unlawful

Description: Southern Co-op's use of facial recognition reportedly to curb violent crime in UK supermarkets was alleged by civil society and privacy groups as "unlawful" and "complete" invasion of privacy.


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Alleged: Hikvision developed an AI system deployed by Southern Co-op, which harmed Souther Co-op customers.

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Khoa Lam
Supermarkets using ‘Orwellian’ facial recognition cameras threatened with legal action · 2022

Supermarkets using facial recognition cameras to scan shoppers to identify thieves face investigation by a watchdog after the first legal complaint against their use.

The Information Commissioner has been asked to investigate Southern Co-op…

Southern Co-op in face-off with privacy campaigners over security software · 2022

A leading co-operative's plans to combat crime using face-recognition software have sparked anger from campaigners.

Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has submitted a formal complaint against Southern Co-operative after it installed su…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.