16:37 05 November 2013
Supermarket giant Tesco will install face scanning screens into all of its 450 petrol stations across the UK in order to target adverts based on their customers' age and sex.
The five year deal has been developed by Lord Sugar's Amscreen.
Likened to scenes shown in the Steven Spielberg sci-fi film 'Minority Report', the screens scan faces and run tailored ads based on age and gender while also monitoring customer purchases.
Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, told industry magazine The Grocer: "Yes it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible."
However, the move is less popular with privacy campaigners such as Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch. He was quoted by Sky News as saying: "Scanning customers as they walk through the store without customers ever giving permission for them to be scanned in that way ... There's a huge consent issue there."
"If people were told that every time they walked into a supermarket, or a doctor's surgery or a law firm, that the CCTV camera in the corner is trying to find out who they are, I think that will have a huge impact on what buildings people go into," he said.
Pickles argued that customers should have to opt in to the process instead of it being forced upon them.
Tesco have since commented that no images or info is stored and that the technology does not yet use eye or facial scanners.
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