Photo capture in stores

I recently had my face photographed at a SpecSavers store. Once I left the store, realised they now have my face in their database forever!
Just read the Federal Government’s advice on the GDPR legislation. SpecSavers is also in the UK. I want to contact their Australian office, asking them to erase my image, however, their site for “contact us” is useless. Cannot find their head office in Australia. Any ideas appreciated.


I had the same experience in OPSM. Clearly ASIO has co-opted all the optometrists to fill their database. We will never get these images back as they will lie when they say it has been deleted. More and more we sheeple are being dispossessed. I guess it is better than a few hundred years ago when instead you would be possessed.


The capture of an image for some kind of processing is a separate thing to the image being stored, which in turn is separate to it being indexed in some way.

It is quite possible for an image to be captured and used for the duration of a session or appointment in real time then flushed at the conclusion of the session. While the image or parts thereof might remain persistent in some form on the platform on which it was captured, this may only be as artefacts in files not intended for long term storage or processing.

Of course the other extreme is also possible. Your visage might not be just stored and indexed against whatever personal information you might have also given the operator - in the case of an optometrists it could be a number of personal details even extending to Medicare, payment, loyalty club, etc - it might also be processed in some way to build a view of demographic by age, gender, race, etc. I like the theory this is a front end for intelligence gathering, but a vector for gathering images of people who are not optically challenged also needs to be suggested :wink:

I doubt the latter extreme is the case, and we can have a bit of a grin at the possibilities, but it is an interesting question.

SpecSavers has a privacy policy HERE which is not entirely reassuring, but says in part:

How to contact the Privacy Officer
If you would like to make an enquiry about this Privacy Policy or would like to make a request to access and update your personal information, or you believe that Specsavers has not adhered to this Privacy Policy at any time, please contact your local store or our Privacy Officer in writing and we shall use reasonable endeavours to correct any problem.
In Australia
Privacy Officer
Specsavers Pty Ltd
520 Graham Street
Port Melbourne, Victoria
3207, Australia
Tel: +61 (03) 8645 0700
Fax: +61 (03) 9646 6050

I’d give that email at the bottom a try … if they tell you how they use images taken in-store it would be great to get an update here :slight_smile:


Write a letter and take it to your SpecSaver store and have them action it & send it on. SpecSavers is a franchise operation 50% of each store is owned by the privately owned parent company in the UK called Specsavers Optical Group Ltd and the other 50% is the store franchisee.

OPSM is owned by the Italian based company Luxottica Group S.p.A. (international phone number +39 02 863 341) which has a large group of optical businesses under it’s wing. These are currently:

Sunglass Hut International
Apex by Sunglass Hut
Pearle Vision
Sears Optical
Target Optical
EyeMed Vision Care
Optical Shop of Aspen
Laubman & Pank
Oliver Peoples
Alain Mikli
David Clulow
Salmoiraghi e Viganò

Wow! Thank you for this timely warning.
Spec-Savers have been very good to me over the past decade, always having their cheapest specials available, as I could not afford expensive glasses, but needed new ones.
I was about to return to them out of loyalty for this past service, for a new pair of glasses, but now I am not so sure. I will certainly be using the e-mail address kindly provided above (THANKS for that), to ask their Privacy people about it.
Very grateful for the warning.


Good to help out Ray!

1 Like

I agree, syncretic!
Unless there is an independant agency inspecting all these company databases, we just have to take there word for it.
Now waiting for the E-Health database leaks!


Very hellpful grahroll.
Now waiting for reply - wonder how long I will have to wait, though.

1 Like

My email has been rejected. Their auto response is my organisation has to be in their group!
I will now hand-deliver to the Chadstone franchisee.


Something one can do is refuse to have their photograph taken. There is nothing to compell one to agree with their request. They would need your consent to photograph…so photography would be an opt in option when in store.

I can see benefit in photography in say monitoring skin/eye conditions…such as sun damage/spots/cataracts, but can’t see any customer advantages for whole face photography for purpose of fitting glasses.


How dare they claim those photos are to aid with fitting your glasses. I am calling fake news here.

1 Like

Was this what was done as it is a eye/retinal photograph and not a full face photograph..

This is a link to more information on their website, including why it is done.

Maybe misunderstanding of what the photograph was and why it was taken?


Me too, syncretic!
And I look better at the standard mirror anyway!


No, not for eye examination, only spectacle comparison.


I reckon they are storing your retinal patterns, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were capturing your fingerprints somehow too. Some day there will be a robot doing your job, it will have your face, retina and fingerprints. What will be left for us humans?


Looks like a bit like those boxes at shopping centres that all one to see different clothing on, without the need to change into each clothing.

If this was the reason the photograph was taken,I would be saying no thank you to the photograph. Glass frames can readily be changed in seconds and a mirror will be far better as one can also turn the head slightly to see that it looks like from a number of angles.

Appears it may be a gimmick rather than a necessity.


By then I will be too old or dead to care!!


Yes, those fashion screens I stay well clear of.
I found the standard mirror a better comparison due to the various angles and real-life look. I think we are the new subversives of the ‘grey army’ brigade!


You can try here:
customer service team email at or call on 1800 074 171 between the hours of *8:30am - 5.30pm (AEST), Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

Or you may have to contact the branch where you had your photograph taken. I don’t think they share the same database of customers. I know this because when I moved and went to a different branch I suggested they might like to check their system for my old records and they couldn’t because they were not on a single system.


OPSM does share data, but Specsavers, currently does not. My husband, an independent optometrist, who has locumed for both tells me, it depends on whether they are a franchise store, or a store owned by the group as to how information is shared.

All of the health programmes I have seen, allow for photos. This includes dental and medical practice management software. I know that some hairdressers do it too, as their software allows for it. I think the idea behind it is that in a busy practice, the locum or staff member that cannot remember you from last year, will walk into the reception area and be able to go straight to you.

I manage my husband’s practice and object to this use of the database on our programme and in fact stopped going to a dentist, because they snapped my photo, without my permission, at the reception desk, to add to their records.

It currently does not have a sinister fallout, but as your MyGov record now becomes Opt Out (from July, this year) and I absolutely do not trust the government to maintain good record management (they have a poor past record) I would be unhappy with this.
You have an absolute right to ask them to remove your photo and to check whether they will be adding your data to you MyGov record. To begin with, Allied health professionals only need to do this, on request of the patient, but this is ultimately going to change.