The nation’s top retailer, Walmart, recently filed a new patent for a video system that will keep tabs on customer service transactions. Financial strategist Fred Parrish weighed in on the matter on ESPN radio.

You know, when I first heard about this, it does have that creep factor to it, but you know the more you think about it, companies have really been looking for ways to monitor employees for a hundred years,” Parrish says. “Really, even since the industrial revolution. Just to gain efficiencies and do things better and provide better service. This obviously is the 21st century version of that, but you know, it’s just a patent at this point. The full system is not operational, and it may never be implemented. But it does raise a lot of questions, doesn’t it?

Ultimately, the stores are interested in monitoring the process of checkout and service, how fast things are being scanned and bagged, if the clerk is using the right script to greet the customer, all with the intention of improving that transaction. Parrish also points out that similar things are happening on the phone; when you call customer service lines, you’ll hear the, “This phone call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurances purposes.”

When asked how we should approach this 21st century approach to quality assurance, Parrish says to just be more aware of one’s behavior and work ethic.

It is the world we live in, and so I would say, just like I would tell anyone, be careful what you put on social media. You need to be careful about what you do and how you go about doing it.

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