May 21st, 2012
02:52 PM ET

Should face-detection be used in San Francisco bars?

By John D. Sutter, CNN

Check out this video from CNN affiliate KGO, which profiles an app called SceneTap.

The gist is that the app works with surveillance cameras in bars to report the number of men and women who are at a  watering hole at any given time - and their average ages. The upside: You could go to the bar that has the mix you're interested in. The downside, as an Electronic Frontier Foundation representative tells the station, is that this could cut down on privacy.

The app's creator says he doesn't store face-detection data - only the gender profiles of bar patrons.

Creepy or helpful? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Filed under: Culture • Innovation • Smartphones • Tech • Video
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Ashanti Beukema

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    November 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  2. Ellen

    I live in Chicago where this has been in place for almost a year now. I actually find it really useful, although the cameras at the door are a little creepy. My question is what happens if it recognizes a young male or female as being under 21(and therefore not legally allowed in the bar)?

    June 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  3. MaraE03

    This app does attain a certain level of creepiness, but these advancements are inevitable, it's time that the American people surrender their privacy completely or chose not to be at these bars or other places they know they can be accounted for.

    June 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  4. kpaden

    I agree with the EFF. It would be another step to Privacy erosion. For example, I-Pass systems are used to track people during divorce cases, and to catch speeders. Predator unmanned drones which were initially promised never to be used against American people ARE being used against American people. Facial recognition systems in public places is often used to capture "Persons of Interest". As America becomes more totalitarian, I am am convinced that more of these types of technologies will be used against the American people.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply

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