According to CNET, Walmart was awarded a US patent for a new listening system for its stores that could raise serious privacy concerns from its shoppers and workers.

According to the filing, the system would capture a variety of sounds in the store to figure out employees’ performance and effectiveness at checkout.

For instance, the system can be used to capture beeps produced by a scanner and the rustling of bags at checkout to find out the number of items in a transaction or even the number of bags used.

More alarmingly, the patent mentions that the system could be used to listen to guests’ conversations to determine the lengths of checkout lines.

[more at cnet.com]