Watching us while we shop

March 21, 2010 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

In an article in the New York Times – In Bid to Sway Sales, Cameras Track Shoppers – we learn that shops are filming us while we shop and then analyzing the tape to learn about how shoppers behave. Which parts of the store are more popular? How long do people spend looking at stuff before they buy it? This is all stuff that shop owners think will help them sell more stuff. They’re probably not wrong.

Currently, this is being done to help businesses understand their clientèle better, but, reports the NYT, “privacy advocates” are worried that with facial recognition software added to the mix, this kind of technology will allow stores to gather information on individual consumers.

This is a great example of a future threat to privacy that might emerge through the combination of CCTV cameras and facial recognition technologies, which have not yet reached maturity.


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