Application of facial recognition technology in shopping is being implemented. With this technology the retailers will be able to scan the face of the customer and keep their information. At the moment there are a number of shops that host this technology, but this has received some negative feedback from the people who don’t support this idea. However after 16 months of retaliation, they’ve given up on the struggle and have accepted the fact that facial recognition is going to be a part of shopping in the future.
There were nine group who did not support the idea as they considered it as a breach to privacy of the customers. The privacy groups stated that the customers should be asked for permission before the scanning. The retailers used the information obtained from the scan to target their product audience and get clarity about the customers, about which products they liked or disliked. And which products they were more likely to purchase. They also maintained a database to check which customers were listed by other retailers. Along with all this they used the information to offer special deals to customers. It also seemed they wanted to identify potential criminals keeping track of their purchases.
One of the people against the facial scans is Alvaro Bedoya, a law professor from Georgetown University. He said that the customers consent should be taking into account before the facial scans. Whereas the retailers say that they don’t have to ask for customers permissions. Negotiations have been going on for almost a year and a half now.
People being profiled and targeted is one of the main issues of the privacy group. Facebook was one of the companies that had used facial recognition in the past and have used it for categorizing and identification of pictures. Hence they’d know which products a certain user looks at while being online and then they’d scan the cookies from that user’s trip to the websites of retailers and then they use this information to send product ads, that’d interest that certain user.
Hacking is another one of the issues. One cannot change his/her face but can easily change the passwords and credit card numbers. So getting one’s face scanned can lead to hacking attempts. According to the privacy groups, categorizing people based on their face scans is invasion of their privacy, even if the person is not named.