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Steve Montgomery

President
b2b Solutions, LLC

Is Retail Ready for Facial-Recognition Technologies?

November 28, 2012

FROM RETAILWIRE:
Albeit too fast for privacy advocates, face recognition technologies appear to be advancing far enough to finally offer a real solution for retailers. Will the trepidation facing the rollout of facial recognition technologies for retailers outweigh the promised benefits?      [more...]

MY COMMENTARY:

While it made for an interesting scene in a movie, face recognition carries with it a very strong invasion of privacy stigma. My concern is that retail establishments will only be required to post a small sign at the entry point that indicate the cameras are in place, and that by simply entering the location you are granting permission for their use. People will ignore the sign as many do now the terms and conditions of the software they install on their PC's, Macs, and phones.

There are several different systems being used today to track customers' shopping in a store. These already provide a great deal of information including heat mapping, dominant traffic patterns (consumer turned left or right at various points), how long customers stayed in section of the store, how long they spend making a selection, etc. all without creating a specific consumer profile.

I agree with several of the earlier comments that say retailers have a great deal of information that they don't use now. Moving forward with facial recognition may create a consumer backlash B&M retailers don't need.

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