Home LATEST NEWS HIGH TECH British supermarkets are using cameras to guess the age of customers

British supermarkets are using cameras to guess the age of customers


“ID, please?” British supermarket chains want to have to ask this question as little as possible when making purchases involving alcohol, for example. Branches are testing a camera recognition system that could reduce waiting times at self-service checkouts.

In businesses today, staff must check the identification documents of each customer who buys products that require a minimum age for purchase, such as alcoholic beverages, at self-service checkouts.

The procedure currently being tested in some grocery stores, in conjunction with the UK government, uses the checkout camera and algorithms trained on a database of anonymous faces to estimate the age of the person making the purchase. If the person is deemed to be under the age of 25, ID will be required, otherwise the transaction can continue. Customers have the choice of whether or not to consent to undergoing this test.

It is not about facial recognition, insists Yoti, the company which created the system, since the goal is not to associate the face with a person who would be in a database. It is also specified that the system will not retain the captured images.

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According to the company’s figures, its software is able to estimate with an average accuracy of less than 2.2 years compared to the real age. The legal age to buy alcohol in the UK is 18.

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