Retailers now have greater access to GDPR-compliant facial recognition technology which helps guard against shoplifting, following a tie-up between Vista CCTV and Facewatch.



Dean Kernot, sales & marketing manager Vista, and Nick Fisher, ceo Facewatch

The new alliance between Facewatch and Vista CCTV, one of the UKs largest security distributors, offers retailers the opportunity to secure their stores against crime without needing to replace any current cameras or systems.

The Facewatch facial recognition system, which has been tested “extensively in the retail sector over the last 18 months,” is fully GDPR compliant and Facewatch remains as the data controller.

Retailers receive alerts on their smartphones whenever the recognition system identifies a “known criminal” on the company’s “watchlist” entering their store.

The cloud-based watchlist is a centralised, managed database of biometric data corresponding to the faces of people who are reasonably suspected of having shoplifted or committed other crimes at businesses that subscribe to the service.

New shoplifters or criminals can also be added easily to the watchlist.

“The whole thing is designed to be simple but highly secure and includes a confirmatory legal statement confirming that the information is accurate,” Facewatch CEO Nick Fisher said.

The solution does not retain any personal data on anyone not on the watchlist.

“If no match is discovered, the image is deleted in 0.3 seconds and the entire process - from the moment a known shoplifter comes through the door, to the instant the retailer gets an alert, takes less than two seconds,” he added.