Boycott of Gillette urged over tracking of customers
An American group called Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) has called for a boycott of Gillette products worldwide due to the company instituting a "smart shelf" spy system, a media release says.
CASPIAN is a consumer group which has been fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999.
The group's founder and director, Katherine Albrecht, said: "We have corroborated evidence that a Gillette 'smart shelf' fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) devices can sense when packages are removed from a store shelf and, in response, take pictures of consumers handling them."
She said CASPIAN had sent an open letter to Gillette vice-president Dick Cantwell on July 21 requesting information about the smart shelf and Gillette's item-level RFID tagging of consumer products. The group also sought assurances that the company would not condone the photographing and tracking of consumers anywhere in the world.
"Since Gillette failed to renounce the photographing and tracking of innocent shoppers, we can only conclude that they plan to continue down this ill-advised path," says Albrecht. "We want to send a clear message to Gillette and other companies that consumers will not tolerate being spied on through the products they buy."