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Billboards With Facial Recognition Tech Collect Demographic Data

A group of Japanese train stations are testing a new set of billboards with facial recognition technology. ?The billboards have been compared to the personalized signage in Minority Report.

The stated goal of the project is to collect demographic data on people in the immediate area that are potentially exposed to the billboard’s advertising. ? “The displays are part of a one-year trial being conducted by the Digital Signage Promotion Project, comprising 11 railway companies and their affiliated advertising firms. Their aim is to learn what kinds of people are interested in which ads at what times.”? The technology, by Japanese company NEC, could allow advertisers to develop more accurate campaigns that are personalized and targeted to consumers. There is, of course, the potential for significant invasion of privacy. However, the company claimed that the images collected would be immediately erased and that they would preserve anonymity of passersby.