Walmart uses AI scan technology to stop shoplifters

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A clown sits inside a bus seen in front of a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City January 11, 2013 Reuters

Thieves looking for an easy target may have to think twice if they want to steal from Walmart.

The company is using a technology called Missed Scan Detection, which monitors checkout errors and failures, Business Insider reported. If a customer doesn't scan an item at a self-checkout kiosk, for example, the technology warns the Walmart employees of potential shoplifting.

The technology is being used by over 1,000 Walmart stores and the company says it has reduced the amount of money it has lost to theft and missed item scans.

Ireland-based company Everseen is one of the firms supplying Walmart with the technology.

Walmart isn't the only company to use Missed Scan Detection technology. Amazon Go stores use AI to track customers making purchases at its locations.

Another way to catch shoplifting is to employ facial recognition technology. According to Buzzfeed News,Walmart scrapped facial recognition technology in 2015 because it lacked a good return on investment.

Walmart's competitor, Target, however, has been testing the technology "in a small number of Target stores to understand its ability to help prevent fraud and theft," Jenna Reck, a Target spokesperson said in August.

The main concern with facial recognition technology is privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) mentioned that the state of Illinois has a law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which bars companies from taking biometric scans without consent. Laws such as these may deter companies from trying to employ such technology to deter shoplifting.

This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.