For Walmart, which is investing in blockchain to track food suppliers and which has already patented technology to eavesdrop on customers in stores, it's another sign that retail is changing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retailers including Walmart Inc will add “Do Not Sell My Info” links to their websites and signage in stores starting Jan. 1, allowing California shoppers to understand for the first time what personal and other data the retailers collect, sources said.
Asda, which is owned by Walmart, and UK supermarket Sainsbury's both told the BBC they did not use image recognition cameras in their stores.
As the shopping experience improves, the retailer expects to see higher sales.“We really like to think of this store as an artificial intelligence factory, a place where we are building these products, experiences, where we are testing and learning,” said Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab and co-founder of , purchased by Walmart three years ago.
Information captured by retailers, both online and in stores, often finds its way into the treasure troves of data brokers, allowing them to develop and sell incredibly detailed consumer dossiers that go far beyond demographics to include behavioral quirks, biases, religious beliefs, purchasing patterns, and a host of other personal details.
It’s one thing if you want to track the speed of a cart or its route through a store for marketing purposes but a desire to collect a user’s vital signs under the guise that you’re doing so to help sick or elderly shoppers or otherwise improve customer service is outright disturbing.