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Can Facial Recognition Protect Grocery Stores from a New ISIS Threat?

The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) are notorious for the brutal tactics they have employed in their mission to bring about their radical agenda. Beheadings, mass-shootings, stabbings and vehicular attacks have all been used to inspire terror in the West. The jihadist group have already killed dozens of Westerners in attacks across Europe and the U.S., including the deadly attacks in Paris, Nice and Orlando. And one of their latest tactics may put grocery stores at risk.

According to U.S.-based jihadi monitoring group SITE Intelligence, “In the third part of an English-language series promoting lone-wolf jihad in Western countries, potential attackers are advised to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison.” In fact, on a pro-ISIS channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, a graphic appeared which read “First method: poison.” Jihadists covet Telegram because of its secrecy and because there have been fewer takedowns than other platforms such as Twitter. 

How Face Recognition Can Help Grocery Stores Prevent Terrorism

In light of this unnerving information, grocers need to ask themselves whether they are doing everything in their power to prevent attacks. One of the most powerful ways that grocery stores can beef up security is by implementing a facial recognition system. Face recognition for grocery stores works by matching visitors against a database of potential criminals, and alerting security instantly when there is a match with a potentially dangerous individuals. Known criminals on terror watch lists can also be added. The database works in tandem with the FaceFirst biometric surveillance platform, which uses feature matching technology to alert in-store security about real time threats.

Retailers have historically collaborated extraordinarily well with local law enforcement to catch shoplifters and other criminals. And while face recognition is still the best—if not only—way to prevent shoplifting, it also provides a powerful opportunity for grocers and other retailers to collaborate with federal law enforcement to counter our most serious national security threats. 

While there is no way to guarantee that face recognition can stop every terrorist, it is the virtually the only automation enabling retailers to receive alerts when potential terrorists enter the building. In addition to terrorists, face recognition can help identify known shoplifters, organized retail crime associates, return fraud perpetrators and violent criminals.

How Well Does Face Recognition Really Work?

One of the questions we get asked often is how well face recognition works. In addition to high match accuracy rates, our face recognition solution has a proven track record of success. Major retailers and grocery stores using FaceFirst have experienced:

  1. Up to a 34% reduction in external shrink

  2. 91% reduction in violent acts

It is currently unknown how real this terror threat to grocery stores is, but what remains clear is that grocery stores owe it to their customers to do everything they can to prevent terrorism and other violent acts. Face recognition is the best way possible to prevent crime. 

Curious to learn more about how face recognition can help grocery stores reduce crime and improve safety? Our 5-Minute Guide to Face Recognition for Retail is an easy-to-digest guide packed with facts about how face recognition can help transform security at your company. 


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