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Tesco installs face-recognition software for targeted advertising

Matthew Finnegan | Nov. 6, 2013
Tesco is planning to install face recognition technology to provide targeted advertising for customers at 450 of its petrol stations.

Tesco is planning to install face recognition technology to provide targeted advertising for customers at 450 of its petrol stations.

The supermarket giant will use OptimEyes technology from Amscreen to scan the faces of queuing customers in order to detect demographic information such as gender and age to improve advertising accuracy.

This would allow the firm to change adverts in real time to suit a predominantly male or female audience for example, depending on information gathered by the face recognition system.

Tesco will also gain further insight in to the demographic data gathered with insight from dunnhumby, the company Tesco partnered with to launch its widely used ClubCard service.

Peter Cattell, category director for Tesco petrol stations commented: "We're always looking to work with partners who provide innovative ways to enhance the customer shopping experience.

"The ability to tailor content based on time and location means it can be extremely useful and timely for our customers."

Commenting on the plans, Nick Pickles, director of privacy group Big Brother Watch, said that the value of customer data and advances in technology mean it is likely companies' surveillance of shoppers will become more intensive in future.

"As businesses like Google collect vast amounts of data about us online and can target us with very specific adverts, the race is on to catch up tracking our offline lives. Loyalty cards were the start of the process, but as the race for data intensifies, the surveillance is becoming more intensive," he said in a statement.

"Given the number of CCTV cameras across Britain that could be adapted to use this technology, the potential to track people in real-time is huge. Equally, the commercial temptation to expand the data being collected is clear - knowing which other shops someone goes in for example."

 

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