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Privacy Technology

Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the scan-me dept.
TinTops writes "Tesco has sparked privacy concerns following its decision to install technology that scans shoppers' faces in order to display video advertising on screens at its petrol stations. The UK's privacy watchdog the ICO is looking into the technology. This is the first national rollout of the system, known as OptimEyes, which claims to recognize facial characteristics that determine a customer's gender and age in order to show more relevant video adverts on screens as they queue at the till. Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, the firm which sells the technology, has admitted it has connotations of science fiction, but is looking to increase its reach further. 'Yes, it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible,' he said."
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Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @02:11PM (#45327883)

    Products that move to conveniently block the camera, smudged lenses, etc.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday November 04, 2013 @02:18PM (#45327945)

    I foresee a wave of creative "vandalism". Products that move to conveniently block the camera, smudged lenses, etc.

    And understandably so if you ask me. Similar stories have been popping up lately. Does none of these companies get that this probably isn't the best of times to introduce these privacy sensitive "improvements"?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @02:19PM (#45327951)

    A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine mentioned something online about something stupid he did at the premises of a large store chain in the 90s. A few days ago, he got served with a notice of trespass and a legal note that if he set foot on $STORE's property in any state, that he would be arrested on site. There is no statute of limitations on bans with private property.

    Here in the US, said facial technology would be probably used for arresting people the second they entered in the store, making notes about what people bought, and if they didn't buy enough, to have LP give them the bum's rush out. Or, just selling who comes in the store, so if someone buys cigs, that info gets sold to their health insurance company.

  • Re:sensationalism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Monday November 04, 2013 @04:30PM (#45329609) Homepage

    This is a "slippery slope argument" and therefore invalid.

    Then you're an idiot, or fooling yourself.

    Just because something nefarious could happen in the future does not mean it will and does not mean it will not be stopped before it happens.

    And based on the nefarious stuff which happens now, and the distinct lack of stopping it, I conclude that the same bullshit will happen with different technology. It will just be more widespread and pervasive.

    I'm not suggesting they're going to be any different than they are now, I'm saying they're already acting like douchebags and I expect them to continue. I call that a safe bet.

    Do you really think that within hours of facial recognition being turned on or even proposed that it would not be posted on Slashdot?

    And WTF would posting it on Slashdot do? There's all sorts of stuff that might outrage us here on Slashdot which the rest of the populace will say "well, as long as they're doing it to protect against terrorists it must be OK".

    It is never too late to turn something off.

    Bullshit. Because the companies have the ability to pay lobbyists to ensure it doesn't get turned off.

    When your politicians are paid actors on behalf of corporations, and you already have evidence that corporations act like unprincipled assholes, you don't assume that this time they'll suddenly play nice.

Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.