While the use of facial recognition technology for marketing purposes is attractive for retailers, an article on independent.co.uk discusses how the process poses concerns of privacy issues and discrimination.
According to the article, Britain's class system was automated some years ago, allowing a postal code denoting a home address to determine the type and amount of customer service that will be received. With facial recognition and customer relationship management systems (CRM), the in-your-face style of marketing encourages the invasion of consumer's privacy:
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I don't want to have 'conversations with brands' or with anyone who can afford a CRM system. Retailers with CRM create the sort of one-sided pestering relationship that, in other circumstances, would be grounds for a restraining order.
So instead, retailers have changed to using social CRM as their method for influencing the public. The theory is that social media 'generates a rich stream of highly detailed social data which when harnessed and incorporated into existing relationship-management systems can drive marketing communications into a new phase'. In practise, this probably means infiltrating your social groups and trying to influence which products you buy.
Now, according to the IM Group, the retailers will no longer use social data to recommend stuff to you based on what you've previously bought from them. The new upsales are based on a behavioural and social understanding basis. So the retailers monitor social network trends, moderate online blogs, tweets, your location and conversations you have.
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