A user on TikTok has gone viral after showing what they allege to be Walmart’s security system.
In a clip with over 2 million views as of Friday, Ottawa, Canada-based TikTok user Parker (@parkerbazinet) shows a series of cameras placed throughout a Walmart location.
“When Walmart puts 20 long camera sticks in every [aisle] and don’t let you leave certain areas without paying,” Parker writes in the text overlaying the video.
@parkerbazinet Walmarts getting fiesty😼 #fy #fyp #walmart #canada #walmartcanada ♬ and my man thank you to my man latto casa di remix – CasaDi
Walmart has been criticized online numerous times for its security procedures. Users have questioned the store’s decision to secure low-price items or lock up certain products behind glass, as well as their security camera systems that some claim are invasive.
It’s unclear whether Parker is claiming that the cameras shown are to force users to pay for items before they leave certain sections, or if he is making two separate points.
Regardless, the store claims that the cameras’ true purpose is to monitor not customers, but stock.
Per a statement provided by Walmart Canada to France24, “This is actually a computer vision AI solution that uses cameras to automate out-of-stock detection to help us improve the availability of products for customers.”
In short, this means that cameras monitor stock to see how much of each item is left. Once an item runs low on stock, an employee can be informed that the item needs to be restocked.
The second statement offered in Parker’s video is valid in certain Walmart locations. Multiple users online have claimed that their local Walmart locations will not let them leave certain sections without paying.
For example, one user claimed that a trip to Walmart required three separate transactions, which included individual transactions for electronics and cosmetics. Another simply showed how the cosmetics section at their store was behind a barricade.
In the comments section of Parker’s video, users shared their thoughts on these decisions.
“My local one did that and tried to say it’s because their reorganizing the section,” a user wrote. “That was 8 months ago.. stopped buying makeup there.”
“They doing everything except Apple Pay,” another added.
“But still need to see a receipt to leave the building,” noted a third.
The Daily Dot reached out to Walmart via its media relations contact form and Parker via Instagram direct message.
Update 8:56am CT, July 14, 2023: In an email to the Daily Dot, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed that the cameras are used for inventory and directed readers to the company’s news post on the topic.