Starting in 2015, high-tech shelves, equipped with built in cameras could appear in grocery stores to watch us and get intelligence.
It’s called retail surveillance and at least one company is moving forward with plans to track what you put in your cart.
The idea is coming from the company that owns mega brands like Chips Ahoy, Nabisco, Ritz, and other snack foods.
The company called Mondelez wants to build a data-base of basic information about grocery store customers like age and sex, so it can better market its products.
A new buzz term that is beginning to gain major currency is “the Internet of things.” What this speaks to is networked chips embedded in all sorts of everyday things, from refrigerators and toasters to clothing and, well, groceries. Ubiquitous technology means ubiquitous surveillance and ubiquitous information collection and analysis. Government does it, but private business does a hell of a lot more of it.
And, once again, we behold the two-edged sword. As private business gathers more and more data, expect the government to begin to target those businesses for access. It’s easier and cheaper than setting up government spy operations.
In the end, though, the problem isn’t so much ubiquitous surveillance as what is done with the fruits of that surveillance.