Retailers Track Consumers With Facial Recognition Technology As They Shop

Time to go shopping in a ski mask? Fashion retailers and others are  unleashing surveillance systems equipped with NeoFace, a face detection and comparison engine, allowing them to track customers’ visits, behaviors, and characteristics, thus building a record of where you have been, and presumably the ability to predict your actions:

3 Comments on "Retailers Track Consumers With Facial Recognition Technology As They Shop"

  1. BrianApocalypse | Nov 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    This is why I have accumulated the world’s largest collection of fake Moustaches.

  2. Simiantongue | Nov 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    It’s not so much tracking behavior that’s the problem if passive observation were all there was to it. What they seek to do is observe so they can have information needed to alter your behavior. But not in a way that benefits you, because after all they’re footing the bill to change your behavior and by their way of thinking they should be the one to benefit by that. The needs of the consumer are not a primary factor, it’s their bottom line they seek to increase.

    So what’s the endgame for this? Is it okay for businesses to be endlessly manipulative for their own ends? At some time in the distant future do companies simply massage complex programs of subconscious influence if their sales need tweaking?

    Don’t we have a right to self determination without undue influence, or in the future are we going to be consumer puppets? I mean, we talk about government conspiracies “controlling” peoples minds. This is the real deal people. An open conspiracy consisting of legions of cognitive scientists and tech developers in a money making industry worth billions, whose entire purpose is to get you to pick up that pack of gum near the cash register, buy that newer TV set with seven hundred more options or change your brand of fabric softener. If you don’t buy what they want you to buy there are consequences, they instill in you a sense of inadequacy. There are also psychological “rewards” for making the right choices. Systems of cognitive manipulation through positive reinforcement.

    It’s ironic that the private sector points at government and cries outrage at the slightest digression into peoples personal lives. Yet every day the stores you shop at or your boss, who are infinitely more manipulative, has more to say about your daily decisions than the state does in a decade.

    Perhaps it’s like a monkey house. If you live there you can’t really smell it. Perhaps this type of manipulation is so commonplace that private industries influence goes unnoticed and is accepted without question. Do you think that this type of thing stops at consumer habits, the very same principles are well adapted to changing popular opinion. Programming at it’s technological finest, brought to you by the private sector.

  3. Face Recognition in Retail: Profit, Ethics and Privacy

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