♦ Face detection to determine demographics is not face recognition for identification
♦ Anonymity is different than privacy
♦ Not all applications are created equal
The article, in general, is so solid that one could be forgiven for overlooking the clichéd yet obligatory Minority Report reference in in first sentence. [Was there even any face rec. in MR, at all?]
Face Recognition Makes the Leap From Sci-Fi (New York Times)
As SceneTap suggests, techniques like facial detection, which perceives human faces but does not identify specific individuals, and facial recognition, which does identify individuals, are poised to become the next big thing for personalized marketing and smart phones. That is great news for companies that want to tailor services to customers, and not so great news for people who cherish their privacy. The spread of such technology — essentially, the democratization of surveillance — may herald the end of anonymity.
And this technology is spreading. Immersive Labs, a company in Manhattan, has developed software for digital billboards using cameras to gauge the age range, sex and attention level of a passer-by. The smart signs, scheduled to roll out this month in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, deliver ads based on consumers’ demographics. In other words, the system is smart enough to display, say, a Gillette ad to a male passer-by rather than an ad for Tampax.