Now you can check-in to a location on Facebook through facial recognition scanning. The Redpepper ad agency claims to be beta testing a camera on the outside of a “Nashville business” that automatically checks patrons in to a location and offers them deals, after users have given the company access to their Facebook data (note: this was developed independently from Facebook). A video explanation of the technology, Facedeals, is below.
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Facebook has come under intense congressional scrutiny for taking steps toward facial recognition, with the purchase of Face.com. However, after only a month, it ceased using the technology to automatically suggest which friends to tag in photos.
As Redpepper explains in a blog post, the alleged technology is done completely through a voluntary app:
The Facedeals app must be authorized via your Facebook account. With your help, the app verifies your most recent photo tags, using those to map the physical appearance of your face. Our custom-developed cameras then simply use this existing data to identify you in the real world. Personalized deals can now be delivered to your Smartphone from all participating locations—all you have to do is show your face.
Redpepper argues that the technology will help both consumers and businesses use the magic of Facebook to more efficiently dole out deals. What do you think? Creepy or awesome?
Our Facebook specialist Josh Constine wanted it be clear that Facedeals is not approved or endorsed by Facebook. It merely uses the social network as an easy way for people to upload photos for Facedeals to do its own facial recognition processing.
In fact, considering the name and coloring, Facedeals could get slapped with a trademark infringement lawsuit. Facebook is trying to downplay its use of facial recog technology, and probably won’t take kindly to this confusion and possibly fear-inducing employment of its platform.