Industry News

Webcam Asks Facebook Who You Are to See What Can Lure You

Forget tinfoil hats and cameras installed by “the Gov’t” on the streets – if you’re living in Nashville, Tennessee, chances are your mug-shot is compared against Facebook’s zillion-image database to fix your daily dose of discounts.

According to a video produced by a Nashville-based advertising agency, shops, coffeehouses, bars and restaurants can now use the Facedeals camera to recognize customers and offer  personalized deals. Once people set foot into a shop, the Facebook camera will immediately recognize the customers and the shop will offer those discounts. But first, people need to authorize the Facedeals application and sign up.

The app shuffles through recent photos in which the user has been tagged to map the user’s face. With every new uploaded picture, a person’s biometric profile is updated and is more accurate in identifying an individual in real life.

“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,” Nashville-based advertising agency Redpepper said on its webpage.

Facebook has nothing to do with these cameras, as they are “standalone devices developed around open source technologies including Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or OpenCV. It only taps into the Facebook Graph API to query images and identify the customer. They can be configured remotely and only require a standard 110 volt wall outlet and a wi-fi connection.”

In the promotional video, people who enter a bar are automatically offered cheaper drinks as they are recognized with this Facedeals camera. Facedeals developers believe they have realized just how important add tools Facebook check-ins are for a business and envisioned this dynamic way to pay back clients for their loyalty.

One issue still stands: third-party applications run and store data on servers that are not part of Facebook’s infrastructure and have security challenges of their own. Since taking photos in bars and pubs is bad on so many levels, you might want to ask for a table in the back or get one of these goodies.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.