Tesco installs Alan Sugar's 'Minority Report' ad screens
Privacy groups horrified as screens able to judge shoppers' age and sex put up in 450 petrol stations
WHEN customers next visit a Tesco petrol station and look at an advertisement, the ad may be looking back at them.
That's because the supermarket giant is installing "hundreds of hi-tech screens" in its forecourts which use built-in cameras to "detect the age and sex of customers", the Daily Telegraph reports. The information - which is collected in 'real time' - will be used to decide which ten-second ads are broadcast to the people looking at them.
For example, if the screens' built-in cameras detect that several women are waiting to buy petrol, it may broadcast ads for women's magazines.
The "ground-breaking deal" with Lord Alan Sugar's company Amscreen, will see the OptimEyes screens installed at 450 Tesco filling stations. The system uses cameras to assess the gender and approximate age of customers and record how long they look at an ad.
The Telegraph says the roll out of the OptimEyes system has "sparked fresh concerns from privacy campaigners about the growing use of 'invasive' technology in the nation's shops".
Metro describes the screens as "Minority Report-style face-scanners", a reference to the eyeball scanners used to identify people in the 2002 sci-fi movie based on a short story by Philip K Dick.
Nick Pickles, from privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the paper: "The race is on for retailers to gather as much information about us as possible, as personalised as possible. The very intrusive nature of this technology lays bare the lengths to which some companies are willing to go and how supermarkets see people as there to be tracked."
Simon Sugar, Lord Sugar's son and the chief executive of Amscreen, said the technology "could change the face of British retail". He added: "Our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible." ·