Legal Brief: Amazon Resolves NYC Biometric Lawsuit

July 11, 2023

Types : Bylined Articles

When biometrics meets loss prevention, be ready for increased legal scrutiny

When I was in law school, I had an internship with the District Attorney’s Office in Cambridge, Mass. It was a great learning experience. As a student, all of my cases had to be supervised by a professor or an Assistant District Attorney. This enhanced the learning experience and ensured I did not commit malpractice.

One of my cases involved a theft in the Harvard Coop – which was and is the bookstore for Harvard University. The Coop was more like a department store than a bookstore. It sold various items across several departments. One day, a young couple entered the store carrying various shopping bags from a day of shopping in Harvard Square. They browsed several sections in the store, eventually settling into the shoe department. The female asked the salesperson to try on some shoes. The salesperson went to the storage room to retrieve the appropriate size. While the salesperson was away, the male and the female took various items – including belts and shoes – and stuffed them into their other shopping bags. It was a clear case of shoplifting.

Thankfully, an undercover loss prevention officer was in the area. He observed the theft, waited for the couple to leave that area of the store, and then apprehended them. The couple was separated and questioned. The brief investigation revealed that the couple was shopping that day at various stores using a stolen credit card. All of the shopping bags they carried that day were full of stolen items.


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