In 2007, a city in the Netherlands provided a shop owner with a facial recognition system to detect known shop thieves. This camera system compared faces of individuals in the crowd with police photos of known local shoplifters. In this paper, I ask how facial recognition intervenes in the relations between the various actors involved in monitoring and controlling shop crime. In particular, I focus on how technology affects the pluralisation of surveillance, understood here as the state’s effort to mobilise new types of actors. By studying surveillance as a situated practice of making shoplifters visible, I show how facial recognition was in this case part of an effort to further enlist the supermarket in monitoring petty crime. I furthermore attend to the contingencies of this process. While surveillance technologies can potentially engage new actors, they do not necessarily do so as they may refuse to take part in a particular mode of surveillance. In other words, not only subjects of surveillance resist, resistances may also exist within the networks that perform surveillance.

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Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/126710
Citation
Grommé, F. (2012). Surveillance in the Supermarket. In Crime, Security and Surveillance: Effects for the Surveillant and the Surveilled, Eleven International Publishing (pp. 33–53). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/126710