New “Big Brother” Billboards Watch And Record You

We all look at billboards — but what happens when they start looking back?

Over Memorial Day weekend, reports The New York Times, a Manhattan billboard advertising the TV movie “The Andromeda Strain” had a little camera installed into it. The camera, made by a company called Quividi, not only records the people who pass by, but uses software to analyze the faces and determine age and gender.

The reason for this surveillance? Marketing research.

Gathering user data on the Internet is cake; simply install some cookies, etc. But how to measure the effectiveness of ads like billboards? Enter the little cameras.

Is this a violation of personal privacy? What about those people who deface billboards in subway stations? Will they be recorded? Can the video be used to prosecute them?

And else can be done with this type of technology?


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