It was announced that Tesco will have cameras at all its forecourts to scan the faces of those looking at ads, determine their sex and estimate their age. This is so that they can see which ads are effective and which are not and what time of day the ads are looked at and by how many people.

That may not seem so bad but it is just another step towards Big Brother. Technology already exists, and is not illegal, that can scan your face and match it with your Facebook picture so that they know who you are.


Last year in London a company got into trouble for putting people detectors on bins in the City of London that would get your name and details from any credit cards, passport or driving licence you had on your possession. They withdrew them after the furore but it was not illegal for them to do what they did – just bad publicity for them.

Just like the American Government spying on everybody worldwide, including friendly foreign leaders like Angela Merkel, if they have the technology it is too tempting not to use it.

Big Advantages

The advantage for companies who can identify what potential customers are looking at their ads is too tempting not to be used. If they can identify all the people who look at their ads they can then focus their advertising for those products on those people and can contact them by whatever contact details they manage to pick up from whatever cards etc. you have on you.

Governments will do it too, with the excuse that it is to prevent terrorism and/or catch illegal immigrants.

The Big Brother Age is now upon us – and it’s still in its infancy.

Know that if you go to the forecourt at Tesco that you could be getting monitored if you look at an ad there. If you are happy with that, fine – but at least you know that it is happening.