Business Establishments Use Face Detection System

January 16, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. analytics (n.) [an-l-it-iks]  – a method of research or analysis using data and mathematics
Example: The company’s business analytics showed that customers like buying big and expensive items on weekends.

2. jam-packed (adj.) [jam-pak] – crowded; completely filled
Example: Malls are usually jam-packed during holidays.  

3.  breakthrough (n.)  [breyk-throo] –   a new and successful discovery or achievement
Example: Recent breakthroughs in computer animation have made it possible to create realistic monster movies.

4. repercussion (n.)  [ree-per-kuhsh-uhn, rep-er-] – a negative, indirect result caused by an event or action.
Example:  Environmentalists say the repercussions of today’s pollution will be felt for generations.

5. hasty (adj.) [hey-stee] – speedy; fast
Example: My father always reminded me not to make hasty judgments toward other persons.

Read the text below.
In a number of malls in the US, advertisers have begun using face recognition technology to attract target markets, raising privacy concerns from the government.

One hotly talked about face recognition technology is Intel’s “Anonymous Video Analytics a system that makes use of sensors inside digital signs to try and tell a person’s gender and approximate age. When someone looks at such a sign, the ads displayed on the sign change to  show products that the person may be interested in.

Meanwhile, the same Intel technology available in iOs and Android application is being used differently by mobile phone owners who want to check how jam-packed some bars and clubs are before they head out. The app also shows the crowd’s ratio of males to females and the average ages of the people from each gender.

Other face detection technologies even try to read the expression on people’s faces in order for marketers to learn what potential buyers think of the ads.

However, while face recognition systems do not collect personal information, US Congress is looking into their repercussions on privacy.  Senator John Rockefeller asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine whether there is a need for the government to make policies on them.

According to Rockefeller, Congress must know what these technological breakthroughs can do, and what privacy and security issues they may bring to the public.

As the Congress and FTC try to balance public laws with the advancement of science, some people think that policy-makers should just let the technologies develop first and not be too hasty in creating regulations that could only delay the technologies’ progress.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Do you think that Face Recognition Technology could increase the sales of businesses? Why or why not?
·         Would you feel comfortable going to a place with face recognition systems? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Which do you think should companies prioritize: protecting the privacy of customers or increasing business profit? Why or why not?
·         Should the government make rules for the use of certain technology even before that technology is fully developed? Why or why not?


January 16, 2012