How facial recognition advertising is becoming your new social contract


Do you remember this scene from Minority Report?
In a futuristic depiction, many claimed that it predicted online targeted advertisements.
The kind you see all over the Internet that are based on your identity and your record
of all online activities. However, this scene depicted the future of
advertising much more precisely than that. Here you see the main protagonist walking
through a shopping mall while the displayed ads are calling him out by his name.
That movie was set in 2054 but the technology is already coming to American retail stores.
And it’s even more advanced than the movie depicted.
This is facial recognition advertising. Several US retailers, including Walgreens
and Kroger, are piloting facial recognition advertising in physical stores. A system that
uses so called “smart shelves” can already detect your age, gender or mood when you walk
by. This technology can also track your iris movements to see where you are looking specifically.
The goal is to use all available information from the cameras to target customers with
relevant ads in a similar way online advertising targets Internet users.
When you hear facial recognition, you shouldn’t just think identification – that’s the
difficult part. You should more importantly picture a mood detection system.
Your face is a very good indicator of your emotions which allow advertisers to better
tailor their ads. Your facial expressions are often times subconscious and expose your
internal reactions to certain stimuli. This mood detection is a new concept so think about
it this way. Apps on your phone can use your high definition
selfie camera to track your emotional expressions of your face as you listen to music, and suggest
you playlists that correspond to your mood. A social media platform can track your face
as you are typing that comment or text with your friends, and suggest you mood-specific
ads. When an app like this throws an ad at your
eyeballs, your facial expression can tell the advertiser a lot more about the success
of their ad than traditional engagement statistics. Emotional analytics is a way Realeyes, a startup
based in London, uses webcams to measure subconscious responses to video content. Their high-profile
clients already included Coca-Cola, Ford, Heineken, IKEA, McDonald’s, Samsung or Disney.
Its algorithm is based off six universal cross-cultural emotional states – happiness, surprise,
sadness, disgust, fear and confusion. Curiously, even the European Union supported the company
with a €3.6 million grant to better improve its product.
This technology is also going to give advertisers an omniscient power to see whether you are
actually viewing their ads, or just merely playing them in the background while doing
something else. Next generation commercials could thus require you to keep your eyes locked
in as they play before continuing to your favorite content.
The ultimate point of singularity for facial recognition advertising, is the ability to
link your face with your social media presence. Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp,
is going to play a major role in this area. Let’s say you are standing in front of a
smart display and you see an ad. If the AI behind it thinks your facial expressions are
mainly positive about the ad and can link your face with your Facebook account, you
could be delivered a discount voucher straight to your Facebook inbox.
Facebook has one of the largest databases of pictures of people’s faces and the social
network has been implementing facial recognition since 2011. By the way, launching the Facebook’s
“Tag Suggestion” feature happened totally without user consent.
Facedeals, an Atlanta-based company, is testing a program that helps stores, bars and restaurants
identify people’s faces through their Facebook accounts. When Facedeals learns a user’s
face, its cameras will recognize them in an instant and send them customized coupons based
on their social media activity. All major technology companies are heavily
investing into the development of facial recognition, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung or
Microsoft. With their massive reach on the market, it will soon become extremely difficult
for you to avoid being identified every step of your way if you want to be a functioning
individual. If you are worried about it, you are not alone.
75% of people say they would not shop at a store with facial-recognition advertising.
The same statistic also shows that 55% of consumers wouldn’t mind having their faces
scanned for ads in shops, as long as they get discounts.
With or without your consent, facial recognition will soon infiltrate every aspect of your
life. It will become a part of the new social contract. According to Market Research Future,
the global market for facial recognition will reach about $8 billion by 2022.
The technology has been silently making its way into the mainstream in almost all sectors
of modern society in both public and private spheres.
Japan began identifying shoppers’ gender, ethnicity and age as early as 2010. Today
they moved on to identifying riders in taxis and targeting them with relevant ads. Are
free rides in exchange for your face and targeted ads the logical next step in this evolution?
The entertainment industry might also experience a radical transformation during the revolution
of face scanners. Since 2013, Virgin Mobile has been working on creative campaigns where
users could choose from a variety of video scenes by blinking their eyes. Such an implementation
of interactive story telling could soon become its genre.
Because the ‘one man’s tool is another man’s weapon’ rule has no exceptions,
facial recognition has its own dystopian uses. The Chinese government is operating its massive
social score ranking system, where it uses cameras to identify its own citizens and track
their behavior. This information is then used to assign each individual a trust score, which
can significantly impact their traveling or job seeking options.
Such a social score ranking initiative would probably cause an uproar in some of the Western
countries. But others are already building such capabilities.
Countries like the UK already use security cameras on most urban public places, allowing
the government to scrutinize movements of its citizens almost everywhere. These systems
are so advanced they can identify faces even with disguises or after a surgery. In some
British schools, such cameras are already being used to take attendance.
Many airport terminals rely on facial recognition for security. E-passports utilize this technology
to speed up the queues, and it also helps officers detect fake passports with more ease.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in the process of installing face scanners at all
national airports. The US law enforcement is also deploying facial
recognition to identify individuals in public by cross-referencing the camera footage with
a biometric database with information on one third of Americans. The FBI’s technology,
however, scores only about 85% accuracy in identifying potential matches. This score
pales in comparison with Facebook’s DeepFace that scores 97.25% accuracy and Google’s
FaceNet with 99.63% accuracy. However, it’s not the accuracy that causes
a major concern. It’s the bias of the algorithm behind a facial recognition software.
Amazon’s Rekognition tool came under fire after it wrongly identified 28 members of
the US Congress as police suspects. But what caused even more concerns were multiple discoveries
that Amazon’s Rekognition is misidentifying women and people of color up to one third
of the time. Amazon continues to sell this technology commercially and to the police.
The problem is that any algorithm or artificial intelligence is going to be as biased as the
data set it’s using or the programmers that are coding it. One of the more commonly used
databases for this is ¾ male and 80% white. It’s important to note that facial recognition
is a system that enables classification of people by race, gender or ethnicity. Biases
against these groups implanted into the AI can result in serious discrimination.
Facebook was found guilty for letting advertisers discriminate their audiences based on their
gender, race, ethnicity or language. This could have been achieved by either showing
ads to only specifically chosen groups or by excluding certain demographics.
Facial recognition is going to allow for the same for-profit profiling but much more accurately.
Advertisers will have the capability to offer customized vouchers to certain groups while
excluding others whatever the motive. Identifying individuals before they even enter
a building will open the door for real life “deplatforming” based on what someone
said on social media, and there would be no way for the censored to avoid identification.
Currently there is no comprehensive legislative plan to govern the use of facial recognition.
When the law makers fall behind, it’s the technology that writes the rules of the game
for itself. Bahio, a coffee brand based in London, once collected faces of all passing
pedestrians during their artificially intelligent poster campaign. 42,000 people had their faces
scanned without their knowledge or consent. In the US, only Illinois and Texas have laws
requiring an explicit consent from customers when collecting their faces. But on a federal
level, there are no legal protections. And crafting them will be a nearly impossible
task. Requiring privacy policies to be present at the entry of every store using facial recognition
just puts another burden on the backs of consumers. However it will turn out to be, facial recognition
in stores will remove your ability to purchase products anonymously, even if you choose to
pay cash and refuse any loyalty membership cards. Stores and brands with posters on public
places will be able to track your social media accounts just by scanning your face.
Facial recognition is not an innovation for the common man. It is being developed by the
elites for the elites to be used on regular people. It is for this reason the city of
San Francisco has decided to ban the use facial recognition by the police and other agencies.
Other proposals around the US would ban the use of facial recognition without an explicit
consent from customers. But they have a little chance of passing.
Wherever you are, you should pay a close attention to the debate and especially to how your representatives
plan to regulate this technology. Facial recognition is incredibly advantageous to the ones who
use it, but can also be disastrously exploitative to those it’s being used upon.

100 thoughts on “How facial recognition advertising is becoming your new social contract”

  1. Wearing a good mask could undo all of that (granted some of the shit they do with the webcams won't be solvable especially if your family members don't tape over them), a nice good ol' plague doctor mask would be especially good for this use, anon masks would be less so.

  2. “It’s important to note that facial Recognition is a system that enables classification of people by race, gender, or ethnicity. Biases against these groups implanted into the AI can result in serious discrimination. Facebook was found guilty for letting advertisers discriminate Thierry audiences based on their gender, race, ethnicity or language. This could have been achieved be either showing ads to only specifically chosen groups or by excluding certain demographics.”

    Dude, not saying what Facebook is doing is right, but it’s called a target audience. You’re not going to try and share black hair products to Asians and vice versa. This is how advertisement works and always has work.

    Other than that little bit of commentary it’s a great video. 👍

  3. imagine if an average joe got this information… and then robbed your house because they know that every sunday you go swimming a few blocks away

  4. >Personalized Ads
    Can't wait for the day where someone will approach one of those smart advetise boards and it'll show them Dragon Dildos.

  5. They will use this for their evil ways but always remember something that is built there will always be some new technology built to encounter it mark 〽 my words

  6. Cryofreezing oneself in hopes of humanity either wiping itself out or technology reaching a point where this bullshit can't exist anymore / robots taking over, seems kinda appealing right about now.

  7. I would say something like "noone would follow along with this, it's too creepy" but I know 100% that my older brother would LOVE this stuff

  8. Jokes on them, I don't have a face.
    And besides, I mostly wear hoodies with the hood on.
    Plus, my shitty front facing camera is covered by tape.

  9. I got a question about Android Emulators.
    I heared that Bluestacks seems to be very unsafe in terms of privacy – Do you know if that's true?
    Or do you know any alternatives?
    Thank you for your time.

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  11. 2:50 Interesting that they opted to exclude the seventh basic universal emotion…
    Contempt.
    Something that I'm sure a lot of people are going to have for these systems…

  12. You made an insanely insightful video in such a short amount of time. I'm really glad I found your channel! Subscribed.

  13. anyone want to invest in sunglasses that block out monitors and prevent facial recognition from scanning your face?

  14. To be honest I have no issue with detecting my facial expressions to infer emotions to show me better ads. Using my personal data to target ads feels like a much worse intrusion of my privacy.

  15. 0:06 Facial Erection when asked a question regarding end user privacy, also known as "The Suckerberg"

  16. There's an easy solution to the issue of legislating facial recognition in stores-banning it. If it's identifying me and storing what I do, and it's not an opt-in system (opt-out isn't good enough because it preys on those who are ignorant of the system and the opt-out process can be made needlessly difficult or impossible), it shouldn't be allowed.

  17. So since I have many names that I use online like first last names for gmail's and social media what does that mean

  18. This is why AdBlock and umbrellas exist. (Also I'm going to ask my mom to let me blur out my face in all of her future Facebook posts.)

  19. We should all start wearing ski masks!
    I carry one at all times. I wear it whenever I see someone wearing a hijab.

  20. I've already started a minimum one year ban on doing business with any company that advertises to me. More if the ad is particularly annoying. If this crap starts, lifetime ban for that company. The Adpocalypse can go both ways.

  21. directed advertising makes me less likely to buy the product. I'm not shown things I'm unfamiliar with which is the only purpose of advertising. these fucks are so stupid.

  22. It's actually pretty surprising and stupid they didn't think about annoyance as an emotion when watching ads. Some ads are much more annoying than others. (Audio far too loud, obnoxious shouting etc) But I guess if you work in advertising you're a bit biased about the annoyance of your ads. So maybe they don't think it's relevant.

  23. Thanks for the videos — keep 'em coming. What do you think of Mailfence for private email? You mention Proton Mail & Tutanota a lot in your videos but not Mailfence. How come — is not not as good?

  24. Welp, time to remake my ninja mask again. This time with some cool shades to boot. I recommend ya'll do the same, otherwise It'll be obvious that the dork wearing the mask is me.

    Also your daily reminder that at the end of the day, it's GOOBERNMENT that is the root of the problem. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is what centralized, 'universally accepted' power is.

  25. Welcome to 1984! This video has been flagged by The Ministry of Truth and Big Brother has recommended you for re-education.

  26. The world is steadily becoming a scarier place. Just at the right pace so that most people don't notice. The end game is no true freedom, only perceived one.

  27. Closing accounts is pointless. They retain data forever. But what about diluting the database? I've started posting a few pictures of random people every day and tagging them as me. After a year or so it should think I look like everyone and nobody. And you can't automate. It has to be organic so the ai can't easily tell. And screen shot all images to strip the metadata.

  28. And yet the majority of people will continue to keep social media accounts.

    Start now, remove yourself from the internet as best you can.

  29. 3:32 This is my native language so it has to be taken somewhere in Balkans. Thanks, now I love the channel even more 🙂

  30. Scary stuff here. Just like the warnings by the author Frankenstein, or the movie Jurassic Park … while STEM technology increases its reach like a cancer cell, the moral maturity to use it does not.

  31. Love how the Apple hater finds a way to toss FaceID in here even though it has ZERO to do with ads and stores the data on the iPhone and never leaves. SMH.

  32. TBH I just want to punch my screen watching this though… I HATE this more than anything Ive ever hated in my life. LET US HAVE SOME PRIVACY. You will still make plenty of money please just leave ppl alone…. my god……

  33. Sooo…. I don't have a webcam on my pc and my phone has a pop-up frontal camera (i can notice when its on), am I safe from this ridiculous thing? 😂

  34. basically every-time you upload your picture to instagram or facebook. your teaching the machine to learn your face. It's scary. Social media is the biggest scam and surveillance in our time.

  35. did you know that attaching tons of bright infrared led lights to a hat makes you a white spot on camera without normal people noticing anything different about you? its essentially an invisible ski mask and i feel like its going to be super important information soon

  36. oi mate be careful with your pronounciation of "faces". youre very very close to saying "feces" 😀 excellent content, thank you!

  37. I do not believe resistance is futile, but I suspect #nefarious people will eventually win this battle. The masses are already conditioned and controlled.

  38. And now cameras can be built inside screens so you can never even see them… we are going 1984 boys

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