A shops decision to install AI facial recognition technology has sparked debate among customers.
In an attempt to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime at its stores, SPAR is rolling out the new Facewatch tech in a limit number of places.
One of those is the shop in Twydall Green, Gillingham, which has put up a sign informing customers of the change.
It reads: “Facial recognition in operation. To protect our employees, customers and stock.
“Our legal process for processing your data is our legitimate interest and the substantial public interest of preventing and detecting crime.”
The news has sparked a debate between those concerned about their privacy and people empathising with shop workers who are the target of abuse.
It has also led to some conspiracy theories being thrown around.
One woman said: “They have had to do it for staff and customer safety. They have had so many incidents lately. It’s the little thugs you need to be angry about not the spar.”
While another vowed never to shop in SPAR again, adding: “That's how it's done. They start of with that it's for the safety of the staff, it's for your protection.
“And before you know it your living in communist China unable to move beyond your 15 minute zone because you were seen eating meat last week and you refused your 200th vaccination.
“It's a slippery slope people and when the time comes I will at least know that I fought against it. I will no longer shop in the Spar.”
A third woman commented: “How many on here commenting have or work in retail? and experienced the abuse and threats the staff have to deal with on a regular basis?
“If you don't agree with the AFR then don't shop in there. I'm sure the shop will survive without your custom. Safety of staff and customers should always come first.”
A SPAR spokesman said: ”Alongside other major national retailers, we have installed Facewatch technology in a small number of specific SPAR UK stores to help protect our colleagues and shoppers from antisocial behaviour where this has been an issue in the past.
“This is part of a range of preventive measures to create a safe environment for everyone in our shops.”
Other retailers which have tested the software around the UK include Co-Op, Costcutters and Sports Direct.
Policing minister Chris Philp is also pushing police forces to use facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to match offenders with those photographed in their systems.