Pumping petrol at Tesco is about to get a lot more personal, thanks to new ad-targeting software that the supermarket chain is installing at 450 stations in the United Kingdom. The new system will scan consumers’ faces and then feed them customised ads based on their age and gender. No permission necessary!
This is obviously dodgy for privacy reasons, but the advertising company behind the idea is trying to put a positive, futuristic spin on it. “[It’s] like something out of Minority Report,” Amscreen CEO Simon Sugar told the press. “This could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.” Oh good, Minority Report scanners everywhere.
In the face of criticism, however, an Amscreen spokesperson told the AFP that the technology is not only “non-intrusive,” it also “meets with privacy and data protection requirements.” Of course, because the technology is so new — it’s only been around since July — it’s probably safe to assume that the privacy and data protection requirements in question haven’t entirely been worked out. But it’s certainly here to stay.