former Walmart employee speaking (l) Walmart aisle with security cameras very close together above (c) former Walmart employee hand up whispering (r)

@ashthetruth21/TikTok

‘So they can see me looking for an employee for help yet they don’t send one’: Walmart’s extensive surveillance cameras spark debate

‘Walmart cameras do zoom up in ur business.’

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

A TikToker has gone viral after offering a supposed explanation for the retail chain’s extensive surveillance capabilities.

Stitching a video that shows over a dozen security cameras covering two aisles, TikTok user @ashthetruth21 says that the cameras in Walmart are “really f’ing good.”

In the minute-long video, @ashthetruth21 makes claims about just how good the cameras are—and what these high-quality cameras are used for.

The video currently has over 1.4 million views.

@ashthetruth21 #stitch with @novakane888 @Walmart treat your employees better.. or ask what i know #StJudeDadPhotos #walmart #peopleofwalmart #walmartfinds #lossprevention #target #security #fyp #fypシ #america #godswork #scammers ♬ original sound – AshtheTruth21

According to her, the cameras are “so good…that they can actually zoom and read what you’re looking at on your phone, word for word.” This applies to both customers and employees.

The TikToker goes on to claim that management can use this video to see if employees are speaking poorly of higher-ups or looking at inappropriate pictures—both of which she claims are “grounds for termination.”

However, @ashthetruth21 alleges that the “real reason” the cameras are so good is to combat a practice called “receipt shopping.”

How receipt shopping works, according to @ashthetruth21, is that thieves will find a discarded receipt for which someone paid for their goods in cash. If the receipt is too mangled, they can scan the receipt into the Walmart app for a pristine, digital version. From there, the thief will enter Walmart and obtain the items from the aisles, bringing them to customer service to “return” them for cash.

The high-quality cameras, @ashthetruth21 claims, are used to try to catch people engaging in this practice and prevent them from performing it.

“They can see if you read receipts on your phone,” she explains.

While @ashthetruth21’s claims are uncorroborated, Walmart has introduced new technology using cameras to track inventory in stores, which could be one reason for the extensive amount of cameras in aisles. However, according to the Verge, Walmart has previously utilized Clearview AI’s facial recognition software to identify shoplifters but is now using a different artificial intelligence technology to track unscanned items at self-checkout.

In the comments, some users validated @ashthetruth21’s claim.

“Walmart cameras do zoom up in ur business,” one commenter alleged. “As a former employee who dated n married loss prevention she is stating 100% facts”

“Yes I worked for asset protection and can confirm this,” a second user stated. “I was so shocked when I seen it on the big screens.”

Others claimed that, if Walmart is truly engaged in this practice, it feels like an undue violation of their privacy, even if it is legal. Some even proposed solutions for those concerned about their privacy.

“Sounds like an invasion of privacy but 1000% get why it’s not,” a commenter offered.

“That’s why privacy screens and low brightness,” another added.

Further users made jokes about the situation, asking why Walmart is investing so heavily in cameras if it still does not have enough staff to properly tend to customer needs.

“So they can see me looking for an employee for help yet they don’t send one,” a commenter wrote.

“Walmart will do everything except hire more cashiers,” another stated.

“All that security, yet they can’t pay their employees a livable wage,” a third argued.

We’ve reached out to Walmart via media relations contact form and @ashthetruth21 via TikTok comment.


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