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Implementation of Facial Recognition – Cool or Creepy?

With the advent of technology, AI has been continuously evolving the security checks for different online businesses and organizations. As per the survey when the online shoppers were asked a question that how they are finding new AI technology of facial verification for payment, cool or creepy; mostly people who were ok with the idea of personalized recommendations were hesitant towards facial recognition online

The raised concerns in people’s minds are natural. When, on the one hand, consumers are aware of the fact that they are being scanned by FBI through CCTV camera, on the other hand, they are also in support of personalization and ease of use. The only thing to be considered here is to draw a line that how individuals are identified and how their data is stored.

People’s concern over Facial Recognition Technology:

People perceive Facial Recognition as a scary technology because it raises concern for one’s privacy. They don’t want the technology to know about their personal details and monitor their activities 24/7. But this is not the case that users are identified every time; there are three identification levels at which the data of the users is used.

Entry Level:

At the entry-level of data evaluation, there is no need to be concerned regarding the privacy of the data. The data collected here is totally anonymous and just for the calculation and analysis purposes. For example, there is a software “XYZ” that is only counting the number of people that a camera records at a particular time. The purpose of doing so can be anything analysis related, e.g:

Most of the times retailers and banks use this data to analyze how many people in a specific age group or gender bracket visited. The purpose of this data collection is not to identify the persons but just to review it for marketing purposes. No doubt, when a business identifies it’s customer base it will be easy to pitch them.

Second Level:

At the second level, the user identification is possible but only in a case when the customers give their consents in the form of an opt-in agreement which allows the businesses or systems to use their facial images. We can say that this level of user identification is pointed towards improving customer experience. 

Suppose while booking a restaurant or hotel suite online, you are asked to provide your picture as well and when you arrive at your destination, the system recognizes you at the entrance without even you saying your name. Afterward, you receive a warm welcome from the staff along with the complimentary drinks and processed paperwork. Isn’t it Cool to receive such a magnificent treatment from the staff? Of course, it is and there are high chances that you will wish to visit them again in the future because of their awesome customer service. This is a loyalty scheme that businesses offer to their customers in return of their facial pictures because it makes convenient for them to recognize their customers.

Security Level:

The third level is usually concerned with the face verification for security purposes. The user’s face is verified against his personal data to ensure that only an authorized person can access the system or enter into specific areas. You can’t consider this as a violation of your privacy since this is just to secure the customers from fraud and keep them out of undesirable situations like identity theft etc. 

For example, while checking out on an e-commerce store, the system doesn’t approve your transaction unless you verify your identity against the credit card used. If a person is using someone else card then with the face verification service, he/she won’t be able to make any fraudulent payment.

Face Verification and Cultural Challenges:

The young generation is now used to the changing technology and is quite easy with the idea of face verification. Since they are used to uploading pictures and selfies on social media so they don’t find any harm in verifying their identity through pictures. But the people belonging to the age group of 40 plus find it creepy to upload their pictures for verification. They assume that it is making their privacy transparent on the internet. So, this is one of the biggest challenges for businesses to make the customers comfortable with the idea of face verification.

Is there any danger associated with it?

Good and bad are the two aspects of life even if it’s about technology. If technology falls into wrong hands it can be creepy and destructive. There are some dangers associated with the face recognition system. For example, what if some criminals or hackers break into a database of an organization and get access to your personal information? There’s a high possibility that the criminal can use that information against you e.g. in cases of blackmailing.

Face Recognition and Internet of Things: 

Imagine coming home too tired, holding a bunch of groceries and don’t have a free hand to take out your keys and open the door of your room. Frustrating right? But how would you feel if you don’t even have to take out your keys, instead the camera on the door recognizes you and the doors open automatically. As you enter the air conditioner, tv and lights are automatically switched on. Great isn’t it? Well, that’s how face recognition is proving to be beneficial technology not only for businesses but for the individuals as well in automating their daily operations.


There are always two sides to a coin. The implementation of the AI technology in the form of face recognition systems can be awesome and creepy at the same time depending on the purpose of use. For businesses, this technology is heaven as it is not helping them in their market analysis but also facilitating in improving the customer experience by providing them an extra layer of security and protection. 


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