Who Is Watching You and Do You Care?

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Hungry for a slice of pizza? Think twice about frowning as you linger in line. A recent breakdown of a facial recognition system at an Oslo, Norway eatery gives a rare glimpse into ways businesses are using biometric technology to analyze customers. What they’re tracking may surprise you.

Peppe’s Pizza in Oslo was using a digital screen to display ads. Here’s what happened next according to Forsaken75 who posted his experience on Reddit.com. The image he took has since been tweeted as readers delve into the privacy elements of this story.

“The advertisements had crashed revealing what was running underneath the ads. As I approached the screen to take a picture, the screen began scrolling with my generic information – That I am young male (sorry my profile picture was misleading, not a woman), wearing glasses, where I was looking, and if I was smiling and how much I was smiling. The intention behind my original post on Facebook was merely to point out that people may not know that these sort of demographics are being collected about them merely by approaching and looking at an advertisement,” he wrote.

The camera was not easily visible. The screen photo indicated that the program was tracking gender, age, facial expression, and attention duration. Is this the direction surveillance is taking? Do you consider this surveillance? Pizza joints often write a brief description of the buyer on a receipt or pie box. Is this different? Worse? Better?

One person’s privacy concern is another’s non-event. As we’ve said before, you need to define what privacy means in your life to secure it. Keep that in mind the next time you encounter surveillance of any kind.

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