Are supermarkets in Malta using facial recognition terminals in their stores?

Blog post by Marica Micallef

At Conad, (via Taranto, Rome), a food store was spotted with a Green Pass Control notice on its front window, meaning that in order to enter, one has to show the Green Pass.  Only the vaccinated were given this Green Pass, so it seems that only those who took the vaccine are allowed to buy food. Since when is humanity being deprived of one of its fundamental human rights, that of food, based on a vaccine or not? A similar case was recorded in Israel, where people were denied entry in particular supermarkets unless they presented their Green Pass.

Also, it has reached my attention that in some local big stores, cameras were installed at the entrance. A number of chain stores in Malta have installed these types of cameras. One particular chain store has Hikvision camera terminals at its entrance. When this chain store was asked by a customer if these cameras are used for facial recognition, it denied this and claimed that these cameras are just there to check for temperatures and if customers are wearing the mask correctly or not.

However, I invite the readers to go on the Hikvision website and check for themselves. These cameras do ALSO serve for facial recognition.

This means that those supermarkets and stores, which are using this technology, have the facility, to save faces in their databases, which they can eventually use if they want to concede or deny access to non-vaccinated customers into their premises. The facial photos can eventually be linked to the information that will be gathered from the electronic green pass and the supermarkets will have information about those customers who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated. Besides giving the owners precious information about their customers’ habits, it will facilitate eventual policies of allowing only those vaccinated into such property. If this is to happen, it will be tantamount to medical apartheid.

Where is the voluntary consent of the customers in all this? Do customers know that their face is being recognised and possibly stored in databases via a camera? Is there a need for legal consent in all this? Isn’t all this coercion?

Can those stores making use of this technology confirm that their cameras are not facial recognition terminals as the website of Hikvision states and that no data about the customers is being stored in their respective databases?

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