Stores Using Facial Recognition Software To Spy On Us
Retailers are increasingly using invasive ways, such as recording shoppers, monitoring cell phones, and using facial recognition software, in order to learn more about trends in purchasing.
Naturally, many people feel unnerved at the news, including A-list celebrities. It’s apparently almost impossible to disguise yourself from the software, for one thing. Reportedly, the program can spot a celeb even if they’ve grown facial hair, have experienced a change in weight, grown older, or are hiding behind sunglasses.
But most people aren’t used to being spied on while they’re out and about, which is why this gets more disturbing…
RetailNext, for example, uses video equipment to capture how people differ in their shopping habits. Whether men spend less time trying on clothes than women (as if they needed sophisticated tech to determine that), or how to better arrange a store’s layout to maximize spending.
One clothing chain uses Wi-Fi from shoppers’ smartphones to do the same. Much like the NSA, some retail giants use metadata taken from unsuspecting phone owners to determine their sex, the mood they might be in, and what parts of the store they spend most of their time in.
As expected, consumers are not fans of the invasion of privacy. Especially in the climate of a world where their governments are already tagging their every move. The retailers might not be making their dubious ways secret as the NSA did, but that doesn’t change the fact that most shoppers just want to shop. Leave being on camera to the actors.
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