Big Brother, Now at the Mall – Wall Street Journal

Posted on 09 October 2012

This article discusses how a mall kiosk is using facial recognition software to estimate sex and age to present advertisements to those seeking information.  This is using data to drive value to both the consumer and the retail organizations.  This has been going on for a very long time.  How many rewards cards do you carry and use?  The ability to present items to you has been happening here for quite a while.  If this use of data is troublesome, stop using the cards for the points / discounts and asking for assistance.  However, the value is to both the organization and us as consumers in finding items that might interest us more than others and stocking retail organizations with items more in tune with the demographics of the location and patron buying patterns.  Again, let’s seek the value in the technology and stop jumping to the Big Brother conclusion, but the answer is always simple, don’t use the technology.


Shoppers at the new International Finance Center Mall in Seoul can find their way around the four-story complex by approaching one of 26 information kiosks. When they do, they also are being watched.

Kiosks at a Seoul mall, above, would use facial recognition software to decide what ads to present shoppers.  Just above each kiosk’s LCD touch screen sit two cameras and a motion detector. As a visitor is recorded, facial-identity software estimates the person’s gender and age.  Read More Here . . .

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