New Billboard Ads Will Use Facial Recognition Technology

Karen Chan 16 (CC)

It sounds like something from one of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels, proving once again how prescient Mr. Gibson was regarding the tense relationship between humans and technology. Sarah Freishtat reports for the Washington Times:

As you scan the face on that giant billboard, it may just be scanning your face right back.

Increasingly sophisticated digital facial-recognition technology is opening new possibilities in business, marketing, advertising and law enforcement while exacerbating fears about the loss of privacy and the violation of civil liberties.

Businesses foresee a day when signs and billboards with face-recognition technology can instantly scan your face and track what other ads you’ve seen recently, adjust their message to your tastes and buying history and even track your birthday or recent home purchase. The FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies already are exploring facial-recognition tools to track suspects, quickly single out dangerous people in a crowd or match a grainy security-camera image against a vast database to look for matches.

Many fear that future is coming too quickly, with facial-recognition technology becoming increasingly advanced, available and affordable before restrictions on its use can be put into place. Concerns have been raised on Capitol Hill in recent weeks that FBI searches using the technology could trample Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, while some in the industry say excessive regulations could cripple cutting-edge technology…

[continues at the Washington Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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12 Comments on "New Billboard Ads Will Use Facial Recognition Technology"

  1. This photo is a billboard ad for a Pachinko parlor, a kind of pinball on steroids meets slot machine game. Talk about a retro image: smoke-filled noisy neon-lit arcades with old Japanese men and women watching metal ball bearings fall into a hole, using parodies (much like porno, mind you) of famous pop-culture icons to attract players, like Harry Slotter,(ha ha, get it?) etc. Am I missing something here?

  2. Anarchy Pony | Jul 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

    Welcome to your surveillance state future. Recycled the same joke twice in one day. If you think that both of the subjects of today’s joke are mutually exclusive, think again. 

  3. advertising is so psyop
    government is so Big Homelander
    a marriage made in Hell

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  6. IrishPotatoGun | Jul 29, 2012 at 7:42 am |

     Will it be able to recognize my disgust for what ever stupid product they are advertising?

  7. Jesus Borg | Jul 29, 2012 at 8:35 am |

    This was actually in the “Finder” series by Carla Speed Mcneil. 

  8. So as you walk though the city everyone will know, based on the behavior of the billboards you pass, that you’ve been googling for athlete’s foot cream. 

    • Calypso_1 | Jul 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |

      Worse, it will know you didn’t wash your hands at the Quickie Mart and will try to sell you something for Jock itch.

  9. The screen you are staring at is scanning you, right now.

  10. ioksototeaterofsouls | Sep 24, 2012 at 7:56 am |

    This would be great for terrorists and assassins that want to hit specific targets. All you need is somebody’s bio metric data from a one of those marketing companies. Plant a big bomb in a billboard, say one near Chelsea Clinton’s office for example and it will patiently wait until she walks past.

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