Crashed computer at Oslo pizzeria reveals covert facial recognition scheme

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Interesting, i don’t necessarily think it’s out of the ordinary considering that so many companies like to track everything customers do but this kind of tracking for a pizza place seems to go too far. Also i wonder if they hid a disclaimer of this somewhere or not.

When i worked retail some years ago they had released an app and also started offering free wifi in the store. Which is nice but they were doing it so they could track the precise location of customers and how long they spent in certain sections.


Image: Woody and Buzz Lightyear

“Balaclavas. Balaclavas everywhere.”


Just use this clever disguise…


Apparently a software by Intel:


That’s not at all creepy - it actually makes me want to buy a companies product more when they snoop on me… especially if there’s not another pizza shop in town.


The big difference between Norway & America?

If this happened in America, somebody would have shown to investigate with an assault rifle


It’s 100% unremarkable by the standards of what companies would like to do; but that’s a pretty awful standard to calibrate against, unless you want the resulting dystopia to be an even more foregone conclusion than it already is.


We should be so lucky. I can’t even remember the last time somebody got more than a relatively minor civil penalty for egregious privacy breaches or widespread surveillance, much less shot for it.

The gunmen are only for nonsense conspiracy theories, not for business friendly consumer analytics solutions.


Here’s an norwegian article about this

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Guess i better brush up on Norwegian

If you’ve ever been in an casino, bank, airport, train or bus station or on the streets of any major metropolitan city your face has been scanned. It was only a matter of time that pizza joints would join in the fun.

Covert? Hardly. Is being filmed while shopping for fresh asparagus at your local grocer ‘covert’? Retailers employ all kinds of tools to gather information on customers. This site does as well however, overtly.

“Boing Boing uses cookies and analytics trackers, and is supported by advertising, merchandise sales and affiliate links.”

The owner of the pizza shop probably thought “Hey! This facial recognition software is cheap and it might help me keep and eye on customer satisfaction.” or “I work for an intelligence agency and I am looking for a mark who likes eating pizza.”.


PizzaGate 2.0!


They need to improve on customer service: a lot of “smile: 0” entries.


At first glance it looks like this is the same thing that supermarket customer loyalty card programs do, but in an attempt to analyze the attention/habits of transient unknown customers instead of long-term loyal ones that have given correlatable identification info already. I don’t see anything super creepy about trying to track general demographics. ‘Adult male looks directly at advertisement and smirks for 460ms out of total 1300ms facing in the general direction’ doesn’t seem excessively big-brothery.

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And the results delivered by this particular software; You’ve got a pizza face, and you’ve got a pizza face, and you, and you! Everybodies got a pizza face!


I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it facial recognition. At least not in the common vernacular. They aren’t trying to match names to faces but demographics with habits. Would not be surprised if this was part of some A/B testing. Not that long ago marketers would just do this with human observers.


That barn door is definitely wide open at this point, with the horses still stampeding out. The real problem is having the pizza joint being able to connect a more precise facial scan to personally identifiable info – all sorts nastiness can accrue there.

Yeah, but you’re not the clerk who can be fired because the numbers show adult males didn’t smile for an average of at least 40% of the transaction time with her. At the moment this is just for gauging responses to ads, but it can be repurposed very easily.


Based on the tweet it sounds like this software is running on a computer that is just displaying ads so to me it looks like they are gauging reactions to various ads, not necessarily watching people while they’re [oi]n line or sitting and eating. Seems fairly benign.


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