CCTV systems have become much more sophisticated in recent years and now new technology is being developed that could increase the number of uses for the cameras.
Scientists at Queen's University in Belfast are now using CCTV face recognition technology to monitor how consumers choose what to buy when they are in department stores.
David Crozier from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at the university told the Daily Express the intelligence surveillance allows CCTV to track individuals over a space.
"You pick up someone's face and clothes in one area and on to the next. Then, for a retail space, you can look at how people behave in a retail environment," he said.
Mr Crozier explained that cameras will soon be able to pick up on the visual cues and will allow retailers to optimise the way they arrange their stores to help customers find what they are looking for.