Watch a $399 speaking CCTV camera used in some 7-Eleven stores ask a worker whether they've paid for an iced coffee they grabbed from the fridge

A man wearing a facemask walks past a 7-Eleven sign on an orange wall
7-Eleven has installed security cameras that remote operators can speak through to monitor workers. Chukrut Budrul/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Some 7-Eleven and Dairy Queen stores use CCTV cameras that can monitor and speak to staff, VICE reported.

  • Live Eye Surveillance's $399 camera system is designed to deter theft and improve productivity.

  • Promotional footage shows a remote camera operator questioning a worker about an iced coffee.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Some branches of 7-Eleven and other major companies have installed security cameras that can speak directly to customers to prevent theft - and even monitor staff on their drinks breaks, according to a VICE Motherboard report.

Live Eye Surveillance, a Seattle-based security tech company, makes the cameras for convenience stores, hotels, restaurants, and gas stations, according to its website. The company charges $399 per month, and employs remote workers in India to monitor footage 24/7, according to a sales email viewed by VICE.

The company lists 7-Eleven, Dairy Queen, Holiday Inn, and Shell, among its clients on its website. It is not clear whether these businesses are still using the systems.

Operators can speak through the cameras to question store workers. In one CCTV video published by Live Eye to promote its systems, the camera asks a worker in an unnamed convenience store whether he'd paid for an iced coffee he was drinking.

"Good morning cashier, this is Live Eye Surveillance stream," the camera operator tells the clerk. "Could you please confirm me that you have scanned the bottle that you took from the cooler?"

In another video, the remote operator intervenes in an armed robbery, startling two attackers, one of whom is carrying a gun. The two men are shown running away before the operator asks the cashier to call 911.

Live Eye's security systems are designed to "deter thefts and improve profits," enabling "real time interaction with the employee and protection of assets," according to the company's website.

Read more: Companies are increasingly monitoring remote workers as offices remain closed. Here's what they're tracking.

A job posting for a camera operator based in Karnal, India, said that responsibilities include "creating reports for any suspicious activities" involving employees or customers.

"You will act as a virtual supervisor for the sites, in terms of assuring the safety of the employees located overseas and requesting them to complete assigned tasks," the job description said.

Some of Live Eye's customers, including 7-Eleven operate as franchises, so it is not clear whether franchisees or the main business purchased its surveillance tech, VICE reported.

"7-Eleven, Inc. cares deeply about the safety of our associates and customers," 7-Eleven said in a statement to VICE. "We provide every 7-Eleven store with a base security system that includes CCTV and alarms, however, independent franchise owners can install their own system on top of what is provided."

Live Eye, 7-Eleven, Dairy Queen, Holiday Inn, and Shell did not immediately respond to Insider for comment.

A spokesperson for 7-Eleven in Australia told Insider that it does not use Live-Eye's cameras in its stores. 7-Eleven Australia operates under license and is wholly Australian owned.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting