Letter to the Editor: Is anyone else fed up of the way Sainsbury’s and the Co-op in Lampeter (and presumably elsewhere) are trying to force customers to use self-service checkouts instead of manned ones? Only one manned checkout tends to be open and customers are therefore ‘encouraged’ to check-out themselves. Since I want people who work in these places to keep their jobs and would much rather interact with a human being than a machine, I always make a point of using the manned check-out. It might take a bit longer, but it’s a matter of principle.

On top of this, both supermarkets (and no doubt others as well) now have in-your-face CCTV cameras at the self-service check-outs. Not only does this suggest that all customers are presumed to be potential shoplifters; it also raises questions about other sinister purposes for such cameras: are they linking transactions and card numbers to people’s faces or using some form of facial recognition software, for example? If they aren’t at the moment, then they probably could do so in future.

What’s certain is that these cameras are further contributing to the normalisation of constant, intrusive surveillance.

Surely it’s time for customers to take a stand and to boycott self-service checkouts. If lots of us made this our new year’s resolution, we could force supermarkets to think again.

It’s also vital to use cash whenever possible given that we are currently being propelled towards a ‘cashless society’— another nail in the coffin of privacy. Ceredigion County Council’s recent decision to install card/app-only parking meters throughout the county is another instance of this push to get rid of cash.

A. Fitzgerald,