Many of us have watched those TV dramas where the investigators use facial recognition to catch the bad guys. It’s something that actually happens and it’s not just used in law enforcement. Many private businesses are using this technology to garner more business and to create a more personalized shopping experience.
In a recent article in Consumer Reports, many businesses across Europe are currently using facial recognition technology as a means for improving customer service. Vendors are now marketing this technology to retailers in the United States.
So, how does it all work? According to PoliceOne.com, “The face possesses certain measurements and features a person cannot disguise. It is these measurements and features the facial recognition software uses to identify people.”
An example written about in the Consumer Reports article mentions you, the customer, walking into a store where the facial recogniction technology is being used. Moments later, “a saleswoman walks up holding a tablet. She smiles and greets you by name. Are you shopping for yourself or your spouse today? We’ve moved things around since you were here in December—let me help you find your way," she says.
Does this sound appealing or intrusive? As of right now, the technology is largely unregulated. “No laws prevent marketers from using faceprints to target consumers with ads. And no regulations require faceprint data to be encrypted to prevent hackers from selling it to stalkers or other criminals,” writes Consumer Reports.
But for now, law enforcement is where the majority of this technology exists. And retail may not just be the next in line. The hospitality industry is taking note of this growing trend.