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Considering physical security in retail stores and supermarkets, Let’s take a look at the ways to address the privacy concerns of the customers in video surveillance.

Perimeter Blackout:

While shopping at a retail store, many customers may feel that their personal and confidential information is not secure, as there are multiple cameras across the store monitoring different areas.

Checkout counters especially are mounted with cameras to monitor the employee activity stationed at the cash registers. These cameras may also capture personal information such as credit card details that may result in frauds. However, by using the Perimeter Blackout Algorithm, the store manager can mark a region of interest on the camera and blackout that section of the camera due to which, the region of interest will not be recorded. This will ensure that any information exchanged at checkout remains confidential.

Privacy Masking:

The recorded video data inside a store can be used for various purposes and can also be presented in the court of law as investigative evidence. Privacy Masking Algorithm once enabled, can mask the identity of a person based on face or skin detection. Privacy Masking can be implemented on previously recorded data and on real time.

In case of city surveillance, having Privacy Masking enabled at all times may not serve the purpose of identifying security threats. In such scenarios, it can add to previously recorded data helping them to only reveal the faces of those people who are suspects or accused in any fraudulent activities.

Incorporating Handheld Devices:

There are many retail stores that use retail tracking services to track customers inside the store. Retail tracking not only captures a customer’s position inside the store based on the signals of your phones, wearable devices, Bluetooth connectivity and more but also captures the MAC address of their phone. Though retail tracking comes with the opt-out mechanism for the consumer, in a survey conducted by OpinionLab, it states that 8 out of 10 consumers are worried about privacy issues due to retail tracking.

In such cases, retail stores can replace such tracking with handheld scanners. With handheld devices, the consumer’s position is not mapped to their own devices and instead, they are tracked through devices provided by the store itself, making the customer feel safer.

On the other hand, when the consumer uses the handheld devices, it also allows them to save time by way of self-checkout and also helps the store to facilitate a good shopping experience. These handheld scanners are Zigbee-enabled and use the Zigbee access point on the camera for communication to the server. This way, the store can map the journey of the customer, average time spent by each shopper at the store, which aisle is performing well, measure the effectiveness of promotions, provide assistance to a customer when in need. So this becomes a win-win situation for the store and the customer.

Making Informed Choices:

It’s always important to inform the customer that they will be under surveillance once inside the store by using information displays. Such signs can also help in curbing attempts of shoplifting or stealing from the store.

The positioning of the cameras is also important, in such a manner that no personal information is recorded or compromised in any way. VMS vendors can also help you in coming up with a floor map for installing cameras. This will give more assurance to customers and will also curb the possibilities of unfavorable incidents from occurring.

If you are looking for any assistance in developing or implementing video management or video surveillance in your organization, feel free to get in touch with us. At ICEL Security and Technologies Ltd, we’re dedicated to providing custom video surveillance solutions.



  1. Kunke says:

    This is an important aspect of the Surveillace system you’ve touched in length, privacy is very important.

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