by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
As an active participant in the world of marketing, I always appreciate novel approaches for attracting new and repeat customers. Every so often, though, a new system causes me to pause and wonder if we may be overstepping our bounds. I recently experienced that reaction, and am curious about YOUR take on this new marketing method.
I remember the privacy issues that were brought up recently when it was announced that Facebook had acquired face.com, a firm that pioneered the use of facial recognition technology. Many users of the social media platform balked at the notion of having faces in pictures they uploaded highlighted, and seeing suggestions for tagging. A little too intrusive was the general consensus. If that was disturbing to so many people, I can’t help but wonder what they will think of this pilot program being rolled out:
A camera system called Facedeals is being tested in various restaurants and bars. The camera will capture and attempt to recognize a person’s face as he/she enters an establishment. If authorization is granted via Facebook, the system will then connect with the person’s Facebook account. There it will check him/her into the location and gather profile information based on his/her “like” history and preferences in order to customize special deals for the location being patronized. It is important for me to note that the program was not developed by Facebook itself. Rather, it is the brainchild of Redpepper, a Nashville and Atlanta based ad agency.
This kind of tracking is already used commonly; to see it in action, take a look at the ads that pop up on the search pages and social platforms we visit. It’s not a coincidence that they all target our specific interests. I am simultaneously impressed and disturbed by the whole practice. It’s nice to have special deals delivered to me virtually on demand when I fancy a service or product. But it also gives me a creepy, Big-Brother-is-watching feeling. It is a bit much for me to think that cameras may be recording my face and attempting to identify me when I walk into stores – regardless of whether or not I authorize the app. How else is the system going to know if I did?
Would you authorize Facedeals to access your personal information on Facebook? How do you feel about this new pilot marketing program? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.