WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) - A new facial recognition camera that tracks your shopping habits via Facebook is being tested. It could mean good deals for you -- if you are willing to give up some privacy.
Brian Todd has the story.
John Anderton! You could use a Guinness right about now!)
And you thought ads directly targeting you were pure fantasy. Well shoppers, meet minority report
a new service called 'FACEDEALS' uses cameras set-up in stores, restaurants, bars. Facial-recognition matches up your image with your profile and pictures on Facebook then it can send you a customized offer from that store. But only if you give permission beforehand. 'FACEDEALS' uses Facebook's open platform but is not otherwise connected to Facebook. The service was developed by the marketing firm red-pepper, which use this promotional video to take you through it. Log into Facebook, grant 'FACEDEALS' permission to image you verify your likeness..
"When a face is confidently recognized, the deal is set into action."
The deal is then as the company says 'dynamically optimized'. That means your face is read, then matched up with your Facebook 'like' history. The FACEDEALS system then delivers your coupon, your customized discount, right to your mobile device. It's whiz-bang, has laser-like efficiency, and concerns the heck out of privacy advocates. Marc Rotenberg is with the electronic privacy information center.
(Reporter: there's a surveillance camera in this store. We're always being filmed. What's wrong with using the camera to do a little marketing?)
"I think the problem Brian is that people will find that their personal information will become quickly available to the stores that they're visiting."
(Reporter: what's wrong with it if they sign up for it?)
"Well people would need to know how much of their personal information is actually being made available. It's not simply their identity. On Facebook for example it would be their network of friends. It would be their likes and interests. A lot of that information would become available and i don't think people would agree to that."
I ran that by Red-Pepper's CEO.
"We’re not actually going to be pulling all of the data. Not to mention, applications that we do for retail companies all around the country that kind of stuff- people allow apps, applications all the time. It's like allow this app, and that is essentially saying that we can have access to your network and i think that's sort of a line and a comfort line that people are moving towards as long as that information is not mis-used."
What does Facebook think of all this? Facebook's a big part of this process and that 'FACEDEALS' logo looks an awful lot like Facebook's. A Facebook spokesman told us the company is not commenting on FACEDEALS... It just wants to make sure people make informed decisions about the apps they use. The red-pepper c-e-o says his agency has been in contact with Facebook- and when this camera is actually set up in stores, the name and logo will be different. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.