The eyes of dummies are upon you

November 25, 2012

More and more eyes are on shoppers these days, and not all of them belong to humans. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Store mannequins outfitted with hidden cameras are scouring the aisles, using facial recognition software like that utilized by police and airport security to record data from passersby. The cameras gather data on the age, gender, and race of shoppers, providing retailers with the ability to personalize offers for customers.

Demand for the $5,000 device, called the EyeSee, has been high, according to its manufacturer. It reportedly provides better data than standard overhead security cameras.

Max Catanese, chief executive officer of the 40-year-old mannequin maker, said he would not name clients because of confidentiality agreements. But at least five major chains are using the technique.

Nordstrom, a U.S. chain of more than 100 department stores, says facial-recognition software may go a step too far.

“It’s a changing landscape, but we’re always going to be sensitive about respecting the customers’ boundaries,” said spokesman Colin Johnson. And some say profiling customers raises legal and ethical issues.


20 Comments

  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Dear Big Brother:

    The people are watching you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    We Have The Right To Film The Police

    http://www.infowars.com/we-have-the-right-to-film-the-police/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. The Gimlet Eye says:

    The US military is funding computer software called Mind’s Eye that connects to surveillance cameras and predicts when people are about to commit a crime. [This is reminiscent of the movie, Minority Report, in which people are punished before committing a crime rather than after. Also on the horizon are killer robots that decide who and when to kill.] DailyMail 2012 Nov 23

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2237302/Minority-Report-reality-New-software-predicts-laws-broken.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • zaphod says:

      Eat Buy

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

      • r0y says:

        Who marked that down? That is a very clever “art” piece!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      While I generally agree with you on these points, your linked sources are not the most credible. Do you have someone besides Alex Jones or the Daily Fail that can provide credible information to support your views?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. ds_gray says:

    Not sure how the discussion about face-recognizing security systems wandered off to ObamaCare…

    My concern about this technology is how the data by the stores will be used. Its one thing to use surveillance to deter shoplifters, but to record me, shopping or loitering or whatever, without my permission is a serious intrusion, especially if they are selling that data for profit. Connecting me, in a certain portion of a store, buying something for someone is MY PREROGATIVE and not a data set to be sold to the highest bidder!

    The last thing I need is the brick-and-mortar store sending me an e-mail saying “Hi Mr. Grayson, we saw you looking at that nice designer dress for $50. Well now its on sale for $20″. My wife uses the same e-mail address, and (a) there goes her Christmas surprise, and (b) I catch grief for spending too much! That happened last year with Amazon! Call it a lesson learned.

    At least Nordstrom has a clue. Stores used to be required to plainly disclose that security cameras were recording us when we shop. I don’t recall seeing a sign like that at Target. May have just missed it while being stampeded on Black Thursday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • SLOBIRD says:

      Valid comment, regarding our drifters and very valid regarding our shopping habits, choices and amounts. Thanks for keeping us on track (although the other comments addressed mostly the consumer lack of control in unnecessay spending).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. danika says:

    Irony: the dept. store using facial recognition technology on you and then demanding your I.D. at the register when you use your credit card…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. SLOBIRD says:

    For a Country that is in a recession, high unemployment, a deflated dollar, 47 million on food stamps (California Fresh Program), a health program that is going to cost everyone lots more and a political system that is failing its citizens, people are so concerned with buying, buying, buying. Our priorities are so distorted. We are sick consumers! Tough times are truly ahead…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

    • hotdog says:

      Slobird points out one of the many crucial similarities between the conscious left, and right, side of the political spectrum. Many of our customs and pre conceived notions in this country are all messed up- both sides of the aisle can come together to repair our broken system.

      Slobird and I have struggled over many issues on this website but I bet we have many more things in common than not. And one huge problem with our culture is the endless ‘shop till you drop’ concept that is constantly beaten into our heads. I refer the reader to : http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/. Spend some time on this website, look at some of their videos and discover how we have been duped into becoming consumer mad shoppers to the benefit of the big corps, and to the detriment of our overall welfare and happiness. We suffer, the planet suffers; the big bosses live in 40,000 square foot houses while many at the bottom are homeless. The latest orgy of shopping even on Thanksgiving Day is just one example of how dysfunctional we have become. The big stores have created an ‘arms race’ that doesn’t matter at all, they could all have the same benefits from maintaining a more mature shopping schedule but they are manic in herding us around like sheep to buy more, buy sooner, and buy without restraint. Watch the video.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

    • catdude says:

      Just wondering how you figure “a heath program that is going to cost everyone lots more”. Is this something you heard on the Fox noise machine? ‘Cause I’ve been self employed and have been buying my own health insurance for over 25 years (same company). Every year i would receive a letter from my health insurance company with “important account information enclosed” on the outside. Every single time it said that my rates were going up, or my coverage was being reduced or both. Every time. A while ago I got one of those, and to my surprise, the message was that because of the Affordable Health Care Act there was no longer a cap on what they would spend on treatment for me. Later I got one saying no longer could the company drop my coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Then I got one that said because of the AHCA my rates were lowered slightly, and here is your refund. So, my coverage is increased & my rates are lowered for the first time in 25 years. That is my own experience, a fact. This is bad? Have you been wearing those Republican Alternate Reality Goggles? Just wondering….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 13

      • danika says:

        Catdude, my professional opinion, as a 30+ year representative of the insurance industry and, yes, the health insurance industry, Affordable Healthcare will NOT be affordable for the masses. You did not receive a rate reduction from the AHCA; you qualified for and received a “refund” because the insurance company spent more on cost of operations than actual medical costs. As insurance companies are “for-proit” companies, they will be careful NOT to have to refund people in the future.

        In our county, pretty much everyone has Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield. Neither of them took a rate reduction last year. I challenge you on producing the notice of rate reduction you say you received. I bet your maximum outt of pocket expense INCREASED. Your plan was probably discontinued and your were “grandfathered” into a new plan with less coverage.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

        • easymoney says:

          Spot on danika,
          As a self employed business owner with blue cross/anthem, my rates went up 30% in 2011 and now 23% in 2012… I pay entirely for my policy myself.
          There is no savings and no reductions coming, how could there be? With 45million uninsured and now the mandated obamacare tax/fee/whatever coming in 2014 every insurance company is preparing with huge increases.They are all getting ready to pass on the now mandated coverage for all those 45 miilion new people.
          The four things listed on my latest letter from anthem all had to do with increased costs to them, including the uninsured and state or federal taxes/fees/mandates, no where was there any mention of my having any preconditions, or my not paying my premiums, nor my making any claims…
          I have had the same policy for 40 years and it leaped in 2010 and every year after that. There is no competition in CA, sure there is healthnet, signa, and a couple others but most people who buy their own insurance are not eligible for those programs, they are strictly for large companies or public employees. The only ones who have cheap insurance are those on the county or state dole, they are in a huge pool paid for mainly by us taxpayers.
          If I took all the money I have paid anthem over these past 40 years and added any deductible I paid before any of the insurance kicked in, I could have paid cash for any procedure my family ever had and still had a nice nest egg (earning interest/money)in the bank or other interest earning institution of my choice.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

          • hotdog says:

            There is no interest or nest egg from depositing your dough in a bank. The super duper ones pay less than one percent, inflation and other matters would eat your money. Your points are not disputed here other than there seems to be no safe and legal place to put money without large risk and usually low return.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

            • danika says:

              Long gone are the days of safe and legal places to put money without large risk and low return. By design, not accident.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

            • r0y says:

              This is why usury was always decried as a “sin” in the major religions of the world. Interest on money is making money by being money and only leads to pain and suffering, in the end. Sure, it is one helluva ride to get there, but it does always end badly.

              Ever notice how the government-sponsored radio ads tell us to save our money in a savings account? They even have an aptly-named website: Feed the Pig – boy, I’ll say. Just remember: it’s not YOUR pig you’re feeding if you save your dollars. Not anymore.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • SLOBIRD says:

        No, Republican Googles here, just an American INDEPENDENT who is informed and knows there is no free ride. You better start reading, get informed and for sure don’t get sick. Enjoy Obamacare as it will not be Affordable for long.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

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