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43% of UK retailers surveyed hit with fines for video privacy breaches

Retailers are being hit hard by their failure to protect customer and employee privacy in video footage, according to a nationwide survey of retailers from video security and privacy company, Secure Redact.

  • Explosion of video surveillance and analytics – 94% of all retailers polled have an average of 34 cameras in each store

  • 75% of responsible managers polled do not have ‘excellent’ understanding of GDPR requirements

  • 55% of retailers surveyed failing to anonymise video footage prior to processing for review or analysis

  • 41% of those fined fired employees as a result of video GDPR breach enforcement, 29% lost market share.

  • Across Europe at least 826m Euros of GDPR fines have been issued in the ‘Industry and Commerce’ sectors

The survey asked 500 British retailers a range of questions relating to in-store use of video surveillance technology, the visual data privacy of customers, GDPR violations and more.

43% of brands surveyed reported they had been fined for a violation of video surveillance GDPR legislation. Of these retailers, 37% reported paying an equivalent of 2% of their annual turnover, 30% said the fine amounted to 3% of annual turnover, and 15% said the fine was 45% of annual turnover. A staggering 33% of those fined had to close stores as a result of enforcement action.

Simon Randall, CEO, Secure Redact, said: “These findings paint a vivid picture — the unstoppable rise of video is meeting the immovable object of privacy regulation, with retailers and shoppers left to pay the price.

“The rapid increase in mass-surveillance of UK shoppers represents a breach of personal privacy on a colossal scale, and the regulators appear to be clamping down hard.”

UK retailers surveyed intend to expand video surveillance technology use, such as wireless CCTV, facial recognition technology, queue monitoring or body cameras in-store. 94% of survey respondents already use at least one of these technologies, and all said they intend to use them more in future.

68% of consumers say it is critical that retail store employees understand their preferences and needs[3] and video analytics has become a core part of that strategy, but improper use, storage and handling comes with significant financial and reputational liabilities for brands across the UK and beyond.

Randall continued: “Consumers care about privacy. Implementing stronger privacy measures with in-store video will only further retailers’ objectives – not hinder them. People think that privacy and video analytics are incompatible - with smart deployment and the right technology, that’s no longer true.”

This survey was conducted as part of Secure Redact’s ongoing efforts to promote and facilitate visual data privacy and security within businesses and organisations.

Copyright: Retail Technology Review

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