Feb 23, 2011

Your Face Sells You Out

I found a blog that is quite interesting and brings up some great points on Biomerics. The blog is called  Traceless Biometrics Technology  and unfortunately they have comments disabled. However the blog is great you should check it out if you have the chance.

Their lead article brought up a very interesting point: Biometrics as advertisement material. I had actually not thought about Biometrics in that fashion, always thinking they were more used for things like security and authentication.
More after the Break

A couple of neat innovative uses are presented on the site:

• At the 2011 National Retail Federation Show Kraft foods presented a new kiosk that tells you what to eat based on none other than your face. The video shows a cool demo but does not go into the details if you want to watch it. 

• Another cool innovative use of facial recognition is done by none other than Disney. The new cruise ship they are building called the Disney Dream uses facial recognition technology to show interactive art spreads throughout the ship and you will never see the same sequence twice because it knows what you have seen. Another use of the technology is for pictures taken by the professional photographers on the ship. With facial recognition all of your pictures are sorted so you can view them later. By the way, Disney is no stranger to using biometrics as Brianna over at Designing Pluto's Playground.

You may have noticed I crossed out my initial words used to describe this technology because after thinking about it I notice a problem. Do we really want to be annoyed by advertisements made personally for us? Advertisements are bad enough without the next time you go to the mall the billboard suggesting that you buy X because you are Asian, or that you like flowers because you are a woman. So what do you think about this? Does the use of Facial recognition bother you in advertising? Or do you think this is a good idea as was my initial reaction?


  1. I do think it is kind of better to get personalized advertisements since it kinda sucks when you watch a program who's advertisements are targeted towards a certain demographic that is different to your own, i.e. ED adds during the news (targeted at mature individuals) or feminine products during soap operas (targeted at women) for example.

    However, on a different point you could consider it an invasion of privacy in the sense of tracking cookies on your computer giving you targeted advertisements based on browsing history.

    Overall though I think its a good idea because although we would rather skip the commercials, it is nice if you have to see em to not have to necessarily see the same thing twice.

    Let me know what you think about this,


  2. I kind of think that, public use of biometrics(like for the use of advertisement) is a violation of privacy. I'm not saying its all bad...but if this technology becomes huge, they need some restrictions on it.

  3. Ever see Minority Report? Not only can they use the biometrics for advertisements, but also to track people as they walk through cities. What do you think about this kind of thing happening in the future? Will there be policies preventing that kind of invasion of privacy, or will it be embraced?

  4. I agree that you could argue this to be an invasion of privacy but in a sense the govt. already knows where you are and could track you if they wanted via your cellphone if they wanted. Also, this kind of surveillance, though not quite as intense, seems to work in England where their CCTV has helped to catch countless criminals.

    Obviously there is a huge list of pros and cons here with this technology in the public spectrum. In all likelihood we will see it one day so it is good to try and discuss this.

  5. Buying a cell phone is a choice. I can choose to not buy a cell phone, or buy a prepaid phone.

    I still think it is a major invasion of privacy. I don't think its wrong to use it, as long as the people who it is bieng used on consent. So if the government wanted to use something like this, I would say bring it to a vote!

  6. @MotionOTheOcean- I agree that watching advertisements personalized to you is infinitely better than watching ED ads. I think that if this technology is going to go mainstream there has to be some kind of privacy control.

    @Zach Tedford- I agree with you. I think that this technology is inevitable and thus regulations should be implemented and they should be discussed NOW, before this technology is everywhere and it is hard to change it.

    @Benito El Jefe- I think that tracking people based on security cameras is a huge possibility and I believe that it will occur and might already be occurring. There needs to be regulations on this but I believe that it will be used.

    @Zach Tedford- I agree that you can choose whether to buy a cell phone or not and can't choose whether you can have your face scanned or not. There definitely needs to be regulations on this so that there isn't an invasion of privacy.

  7. Wish we had more info here--can you give us more examples (maybe in future posts) of where this is already happening? And my understanding was that the Britain case was pretty controversial. Could be another good post topic.

  8. @ Jen- I will look into more examples of current use and the Britain case and post on my findings.

  9. I was totally think the same thing as Benito El Jefe. This sounds so much like Minority Report. I was also thinking about how embarrassing this can. Meaning, if you purchased something in the past and they use that as a means for what ads to plaster you with. Say someone with ED was getting ads for ED in front of all his friends. I think that would affect negatively affect him. So, there should definitely be some policies to control what kind of information can be released.

  10. @J.D. - That is a great point that I had not thought about. Not only is it an invasion of privacy that they are scanning you without consent but also if they are using your shopping habits to advertise to you. Could get pretty embarrassing.