Facial recognition: Shop where you will never hide.

Retailers already have the technology to scan your face and track you, and they expect to not have to get your consent to do so. Should businesses need permission to scan your face and retain your information? This past week, privacy advocates have given up and walked away from a 16-month-long effort to secure that standards are in place to protect consumers from retail facial scans.

“The process is the strongest when all interested parties participate and are willing to engage on all issues.”

“At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,” the advocates said. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise.”

The biggest concern among privacy groups is the use of the technology by retailers, including casinos, to target and profile people. So long as a company has an existing photo of “persons of interest,” from shoplifters to “your best customers,” staff can be sent an email or text alerting them of that person’s arrival.

Facebook has been using facial recognition for a few years now to identify and categorize pictures. It’s easy to see this data being shared among retailers and social media sites to target ads for users. Facebook already knows what products you look at online by scanning cookies from retailer websites and use the results to bombard you with ads for the product you just looked at, or already purchased.

What do you think? Do tough privacy standards need to be mandated, or does it make any difference to you if the next store you enter logs your facial identity and purchases? Let us know in the comments below.

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