The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for March 22nd, 2023

Big Grocer is Watching

I recently read an article about Kroger’s lucrative data business, which noted that the company had collected “35+ petabytes of first-party customer data.” This is 66 percent larger than the Library of Congress’s entire digital collection. The data is sold to third-party brands and advertisers seeking highly detailed information on customer behavior. Kroger has admitted that facial recognition cameras are also used in “select locations.” Albertsons has also been known to use facial recognition technology, along with many other major retailers. What they are doing with this biometric information remains unclear. We do know that using them for security can lead to false positives exacerbated by built-in biases (an NYU student famously sued Apple a few years ago for wrongly identifying him as a thief).

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Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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