Facedeals: Will Anyone Trust It Enough To Use It?

from the to-enable,-or-not-enable,-that-is-the-question dept

If I can count on any two things in this world, it's that salsa will always taste good, no matter what kind it is, and everyone will freak out at some point about privacy settings via Facebook. I mean, if Mark Zuckerberg's sister can't figure it out, what hope is there for my 91 year old Grandmother? That said, if you think it's fun to watch confused fellow humans try to figure out simple pictures privacy and whatnot on Facebook, wait until the next generation of advertising techniques hits. That's really been the problem when we've talked in the past about the "uncanny valley" and how these techniques will impact their markets: implementation is everything. Too creepy and the ads will be universally despised. Too optional and you risk a lack of adoption. Not tailored enough in an attempt to be less "creepy" and the ads aren't effective.

Those are the thoughts in my mind when I see reports of emerging ads/deals technology like Facedeals.
Facial recognition cameras are installed at local businesses. These cameras recognize your face when you pass by, then check you in at the location. Simultaneously, your smartphone notifies you of a customized deal based on your Like history.
Find out which of your friends is willing to deal in illicit eyeballs, folks, because we've just gone Minority Report. Before your creepy-siren goes ballistic, keep in mind that this is strictly an opt-in service that users would have to allow on Facebook. On the other hand, the privacy settings for Facebook were supposed to be transparent as well and we've already discussed how well that's working out. There's an extremely fine line to walk here, and I don't want to come off as a luddite, but I'm afraid that not enough users of Facebook will want to opt in to something like this unless they're really shown some value in it which they can't refuse.

Unless that happens, the above description is probably going to scare people. I don't think the other details on their site help much, either.
The check-in 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.
Sure, all I have to do is show my face and any place with one of these cameras (which I may not know when I enter the store) will check me in on Facebook. This is in stark contrast to the manual check-in on apps like Foursquare. It's all I need to be minding my own business, doing some shopping, and have my friends see Facebook checking me in to "Dirty Randy's Video Store". Nah, I think I'd opt out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 8:21pm

    This would probably be more acceptable to the public if the system didn't publicly check you in automatically. It would be more acceptable to most people if it first pinged your cell phone and prompted you for a manual check-in. The visit would not show up on your timeline until you approved it.

    However, what most people would not realize is that Facebook and its advertising associates would still record the fact that you were at the location even if you declined a manual check-in. The visit might not go onto your timeline for your friends to see, but you can bet that every company that has an interest in your demographic would have all the details.

    The cameras would probably also track things that would not occur to the ordinary user. They would most likely record what parts of the store you visited, who you were with, and how long you stayed. Heck, I can envision a system that would track how frequently I went to the restroom and start sending ads for prostate medication.

     

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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    Big Brother's gone private sector?

    Suddenly I have a reason to start wearing sunglasses and hats indoors in order to avoid those cameras...

    Of course one could just never sign up for it in the first place.

     

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      Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:10am

      Re: Big Brother's gone private sector?

      Big Brother "went private sector" back in the 80s, if not earlier. And the way they've been cynically using the spectre of "Big Brother" ever since to keep any power that's actually accountable to the people from interfering with their work is positively Orwellian.

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 9:07pm

    I won't even use Facebook on my phone

    I give Facebook as little info as possible, so I refuse to use it on my phone. I don't need to look at it when I am away from my computer anyway, so it isn't as if I need mobile access to it. I haven't yet gotten to the point of not using it at all, but I am increasingly bored with it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:46am

      Re: I won't even use Facebook on my phone

      "I won't even use Facebook on my phone"

      I think it's much easier to use less words in that sentene.

      "I won't even use Facebook"

      See... wasn't that easy?

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re: I won't even use Facebook on my phone

        "I won't even use Facebook"

        I've thought about it quite a bit but haven't gone that far. But I have pulled out lots of personal info, have entered in some fake info, and so on. I have never used outside apps (I refuse them), won't use Facebook to log into other sites, and so on.

        It has been handy to stay in touch with people I never see, but I am getting increasingly bored with the overall Facebook experience. That could be enough to get me to drop it altogether.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 12:58am

          Re: Re: Re: I won't even use Facebook on my phone

          "But I have pulled out lots of personal info"
          Sorry to burst your bubble but your data has been stored and will remain there forever for them to use, even if you delete the account.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I won't even use Facebook on my phone

            Sorry to burst your bubble but your data has been stored and will remain there forever for them to use, even if you delete the account.

            I've at least pulled it out so it can't be used publicly. Facebook was displaying info that I had indicated shouldn't have been displayed, and when Facebook kept doing it, I had to delete it. Now there is much less on my Facebook page. Each time it changes its privacy policy, I take out more info.

             

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    Pixelation, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:12pm

    Peaked

    Maybe I'm just a pessimist but it seems Facebook is out of good ideas.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    I wonder how Facebook will determine that the picture I upload will actually be mine. If make an account, upload pictures of someone else, will Facebook than track that person for me?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      When you login with a mobile phone, and they also have a location from facial recognition, they will get an anomaly. You have remembered to stick a piece of tape across the relevant lens on the phone so they can't get a [icture of you holding the phone.

       

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      Aaron deOliveira, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

      false positives

      hadn't even thought of that use. i was wondering about false positives. is facial recognition that good that it can sort out every brown skin, black haired person around (ie. me)?

      would your phone endlessly notify you of places you haven't been because it can't tell the difference?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 2:19am

        Re: false positives

        The other tactic if they have your phone location, and the software is up to it, is to look for a common face in a set of pictures taken for near the phone. Obviously your face won't be in all of them, but if it the only common face in s subset of them they have you.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    I've always been concerned about Facebook and it's invasion of user privacy. Needless to say, I've never been to Facebook and don't plan at this late in the game to go.

    Nor have I been fascinated with the idea of just having to have one of those high priced cell phones and the monthly plan that goes with it for the next 2 or whatever years.

    Quite frankly, I'm concerned with personal privacy and it's apparent loss without a mumble by the majority of the public. It doesn't include a phone that can spy on you frequently wherever you go. I guess there's not much I can do about cameras but most of it isn't going to turn up much for info. Ya, I know I can't escape it all but I sure as heck can dodge a good bit of it.

    If you aren't concerned for your privacy, others will be happy to take advantage of it and once it has been gathered you will always have a trail from then on. The question is... is it a path or an interstate?

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:17am

    Dirty Randy's?

    You still rent porn? Ever heard of the interwebs?

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:57am

      Re: Dirty Randy's?

      It's a reference to The League on FX. It's also on Netflix. Don't let the fact that it centers on a fantasy football league fool you, this is simply the funniest television show on cable at the moment....

       

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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Do not fear. Even if you opt out someone else will tag you in their photo and Facebook will still send info to your phone at just the right time. Love legal loopholes.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:48am

    What is the point of these 'check in' features of social networks? Have we become so sad as a society that we want to see where our friends have been? It's a pointless feature that seems to be like it has been developed just for the sake of developing it and, as far as I can see, it is only useful if you think your wife is having an affair.

    I keep all location services disabled on my phone and tablet and so shall it stay.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:46am

      Re:

      What about when your wife's has suspicions about you?

       

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:08am

      Re:

      That. I find it annoying when facebook-happy friends forcefully check me in with them.

      In any case, this is too damn creepy. I'd rather not get any deals.

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      i don't routinely use check-in features either, but I think it's a little disingenuous to ask "what is the point" of them. People go places, they meet up, they invite friends, they take photos, they talk about what shows they saw and what restaurants they ate at and what clubs they went to -- it's just a slightly different way of doing all that...

      The feature definitely wasn't developed for the sake of developing it -- it sprung very organically from the way a lot of people were already using Facebook. Before checkins, plenty of people posted "Hey I'm at [Wherever] with [whoever] come join us!" statuses and the like. Now, for those who want it to be, that process is more automated and linked up with actual location data, which doesn't seem all that scary.

      Plus I assume anyone even vaguely tech-savvy who wants to have an affair is going to check in as Working late, fml — At The Office with Platonic Coworkers before switching off location and heading to the hotel

       

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        nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re:

        Plus I assume anyone even vaguely tech-savvy

        I don't think it's accurate to assume that Facebook users are generally tech-savvy. Unless the ability to use the internet qualifies as tech-savvy in your book.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re:

        Plus I assume anyone even vaguely tech-savvy who wants to have an affair is going to check in as Working late, fml At The Office with Platonic Coworkers before switching off location and heading to the hotel.


        On bloke made the news because when he dropped his jacket his phone redialled his wife, who was able to listen to the following activities. When he got home his stuff was on the drive, and the locks had been changed.

         

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:09am

    Reminds me of that case where Target found out the girl was pregnant before her father due to he buying profile. Creepy. I've considered stopping using credit cards quite a few times now....

     

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    Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    If people are already carrying their smartphones

    what's the point of using cameras?
    Doesn't Google Field Trip already do this?

     

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    Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:41am

    Opt-In

    I'm usually a bit less paranoid than Tim (though lately, he tends to be more correct...), but opting out of the 'deal' does not stop the camera from taking and collecting images, their system from matching you to an image, and Facebook collecting a great deal of real world information about where people have been.

    I'm pretty sure my local mall would frown upon me wearing a ski mask to avoid this, so I think I may be screwed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:04am

      Re: Opt-In

      This.
      Before your creepy-siren goes ballistic, keep in mind that this is strictly an opt-in service that users would have to allow on Facebook.

      The service of getting the creepy targeted ads is opt-in. The cameras installed at all the places you go recognising your face are not.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    privacy violations

    I have the right as a NON Facebook user to NOT BE VIDIOTAPED and run through some nefarious facial recognition program at this fucknut company's every whim. I will simply hire their lawyers away from service to that company and sue them like they have never been sued before OR I will stop spending any amount of money anywhere and will start a global boycott.

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:42am

      Re: privacy violations

      I have the right as a NON Facebook user to NOT BE VIDIOTAPED and run through some nefarious facial recognition program at this fucknut company's every whim.

      Are you sure? What law or precedent do you believe guarantees that right?

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:58am

      Re: privacy violations

      I have the right as a NON Facebook user to NOT BE VIDIOTAPED and run through some nefarious facial recognition..

      You might not want to go to a casino, or an airport, or near any sort of public protest, or near a..... on second thought - you might need to build a underground Faraday cage bunker and even that might not be enough.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:39am

      Re: privacy violations

      I have the right as a NON Facebook user to NOT BE VIDIOTAPED


      No, actually, you don't. If you're in public, you can be recorded (just the same as you're free to record everyone you see in public).

      But you do raise my biggest problem with Facebook -- that they collect and store information about people who do not use their service.

       

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    dm, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    The real issue here for me is that the cameras will be up and taking your picture in public whether you opt out or not -- so your ducking into "Dirty Randy's Video Store" will still be recorded. Who has access to that data? I'm sure the FBI and the CIA's Tripwire will want a backdoor built in, and who's to say how the corps will actually use this biometric data? We've seen that legal constraints aren't so very constraining, that the corporate "slap on the wrist" culture is now in full effect,that cops won't need a warrant to access the data, and that sleazy employees are always a danger."hey that chic is hot, where does she live? ultimately, CCTV won't be necessary if the corps are all subsidizing it under the guise of marketing.

     

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    Calvin (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    I can feel the 'Technology Enforcers' looking my way

    I don't have a Facebook account or a smartphone.

    I guess my photo will be recorded and I'll get a visit from the 'Technology Enforcers' to correct this condition.

     

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