Thermal imaging in grocery stores is here | Toronto Galleria Supermarket is profiling shoppers

A supermarket in Toronto is utilizing thermal imaging technology on all patrons entering their store. In this interview, I catch up with May Cheung about her experience at Galleria Supermarket.

At first, she thought it was “neat” to see technological advances such as this, but when she thought more about it, she wondered: are we heading into dangerous territory? Are our privacy rights being violated?

May is originally from Hong Kong and is increasingly concerned about advanced pandemic measures as she sees a lot of similarities to how civil liberty violations began there.

I wanted to learn more, so I contacted Galleria with questions, like what was the number threshold that sounds the “temperature alarm”? What is the policy and/or protocol in place for an instance where the alarm is triggered? Does this technology include facial recognition, and if so, are people’s faces being collected and stored in a database?

Unfortunately, they didn’t respond with answers.

Globally, we are hearing more and more stories of increasing government intrusion in the name of safety. With evolving contact tracing software and continued privacy concerns, is thermal screening going to be part of the push for a “New Normal”?