A growing number of Australian retailers are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) software, known as Auror, to address the issue of shoplifting. Auror enables major retailers like Woolworths and Bunnings to utilize AI and surveillance technology in their stores, aiding in the identification and apprehension of thieves.

By uploading images of suspected shoplifters into the Auror platform, retailers can cross-reference them with reported crimes to identify repeat offenders. This powerful AI system can swiftly detect suspicious activity and send real-time alerts to security personnel. The software focuses solely on information captured within the store, alleviating concerns about live facial recognition and data privacy breaches.

While retailers’ use of AI technology has proved effective in combating organized retail crime and petty theft, experts have raised concerns about the lack of specific privacy laws to address evolving AI capabilities. The combination of sensitive data, such as shopping habits and personal information, necessitates careful consideration and compliance with privacy regulations.

Auror works in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies, offering valuable evidence for investigations and supporting efforts to apprehend criminals. The software’s assistance streamlines the process for both retailers and police, enhancing their collective ability to combat theft and protect businesses from financial losses.

AI and face recognition software help retailers combat shoplifting. (Image: “Security camera” by Ervins Strauhmanis)

The adoption of AI technology by Australian retailers and its integration with law enforcement agencies signifies the evolving landscape of technology in crime prevention. While traditional police work and local expertise remain essential, the potential for real-time facial recognition in identifying individuals involved in serious crimes is anticipated in the future.

With the implementation of AI software like Auror, Australian retailers are leveraging advanced technology to safeguard their businesses and combat theft effectively.

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