Facial recognition provider FaceFirst recently announced the launch of WatchList as a Service, a new data platform designed to help retailers prevent shoplifting and violent crime. WatchList includes a managed database of known retail criminals that pose a safety, theft or violent crime risk. 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.
The launch is a breakthrough for retail stores fighting organized retail crime (ORC), which costs the industry approximately $30 billion each year, according to the National Retail Federation. Retail deaths are a tragic byproduct of the epidemic, which have risen substantially over the past two years. According to D&D Daily, more employees and customers are killed in retail stores than criminal suspects.
“WatchList is about proactively stopping crime before it starts,” said FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp, who noted that customers had been asking for a service like this for years. “Retail CEOs have a responsibility to provide the safest possible shopping experience while also protecting consumer privacy and we created WatchList as a Service to help them do it.”
Prior to WatchList as a Service, retailers using FaceFirst have reportedly reduced shoplifting by 20-35 percent and violent interactions within the stores by 91 percent where FaceFirst is deployed. Trepp notes that WatchList arms retailers with another tool to create a safe zone for their customers and employees.
“WatchList data is fully managed and curated,” explained Trepp. “Anonymous data is automatically deleted, ensuring that law-abiding citizens are not identified. Everything from the data to the notifications sent to store security is private by design, ensuring that the data is secure and can’t be used to profile by race, age, national origin or any other factor.”
The service also enables retailers to opt in to help identify missing children, adults and victims of human trafficking. Data from approved rescue organizations is one among several data modules to which retailers can subscribe. Other modules include relevant data specific to local, regional, national, and international data.
For more information, visit www.facefirst.com/solutions/watchlist-as-a-service.