Spanish supermarket deploys face recognition
07 July 2020 15:00 GMT

Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has begun using a facial recognition system in 40 supermarkets in Mallorca, Zaragoza and Valencia to protect its staff.

The system will  “only and exclusively” detect if people with restraining orders and criminal sentences have entered their premises, the firm said.

Mercadona has ensured that under no circumstances will information on other customers be stored as all data and footage is deleted after 0.3 seconds, "the time it takes to blink" the company says, reported The Local.

However, local media reports that the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has opened an investigation into the facial recognition system.

The Valencian company stressed that the system, which will be tested in stores in Mallorca, Zaragoza and Valencia, has been developed “in constant contact with the corresponding authorities to guarantee full protection and all its legal guarantees.”

However, the AEPD (the independent body in charge of monitoring respect for the right to privacy in Spain, which has sanctioning capacity) has communicated that it has had to launch its investigation “as a result of the information appearing in the media regarding this matter”.

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