Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Facedeals", despite requiring signup and consent, could raise concerns about public photography in general

There’s a new facial recognition app being beta tested, called Facedeals.

The idea is that the shopper is recognized by a Facedeal camera when “out and about” and subsequently offered bargains and deals.

Given the rather superficially obvious concerns about privacy, one wonders how many people would sing up for it. 

There is a story about it on Popai, here

Facedeals has a vimeo video “Check in with your face”

There are various local television stories on the product, such as this one from KPLR in St. Louis, link
The biggest concern is indirect: even though the service cannot be used without a person’s signing up (and it’s being tested only in three states so far), it will make a lot of people more skittish about their activity in public, and the possibility that employers or spouses could see them where they don’t want to be seen.
As for Facebook, yes, it’s Mark’s “baby” and he should keep running it.  Sink or swim.  I wouldn’t moan losing half of a $40 billion fortune on stock prices.  (“Facebook” is his, just like “Doaskdotell” is mine; it’s all about orders of magnitude in the numbers -- exponents in Algebra I.)  But it’s hard to see how much money there can be in mobile advertising.  But the television networks went through all of this 60 years ago, when I was just growing up.  I remember “friendly sponsors” only too well.  

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