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Mother claims she was profiled as a shoplifter by Kmart staff

A woman claimed Kmart profiled her as a potential thief when she was trying to return two unworn jumpers.

Tracey, a mother from Melbourne, was left waiting for 20 minutes in the Dandenong store as staff searched CCTV cameras.

‘She kept harping on that she hadn’t seen me enter the store and that was infuriating me,’ Tracey told Nine’s A Current Affair.

‘I just felt insulted and intimidated by them… I said to her are you implying that I’ve stolen the item?’ 

 

Tracey, a mother from Melbourne, was left waiting for 20 minutes in the Dandenong store as staff searched CCTV cameras

The two items in question were provided with a receipt, tags still attached, and within a two week time frame of purchase. 

While she did ultimately receive her refund, Tracey felt targeted and took her concerns to Kmart’s head office.

She said she was told by a customer service employee the retail giant was implementing facial recognition across a series of stores to trial it for wider distribution.

Dandenong, she was told, was a trial store. 

While she did ultimately receive her refund, Tracey felt targeted and took her concerns to Kmart's head office

While she did ultimately receive her refund, Tracey felt targeted and took her concerns to Kmart’s head office

A Kmart spokesperson later clarified the choice of wording, saying the term facial recognition was incorrect.

They said a new customer service CCTV trial was being run within the store, which was more than likely the root of Tracey’s issue. 

Terry Hartmann, the vice president of facial recognition company Cognitec, said the tool had the potential to be used to identify shoplifters from other stores and clamp down on serial fraudsters exploiting return counters.  

Kmart has since apologised and ceased the implementation of the trial.     

Terry Hartmann (pictured), the vice president of facial recognition company Cognitec, said the uses of the tool were exponential

Terry Hartmann (pictured), the vice president of facial recognition company Cognitec, said the uses of the tool were exponential

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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