Many consumers are unaware that retailers use facial recognition technology in retail stores to monitor shoppers and prevent shoplifting. Consumers see cameras in retail stores and assume it is to monitor for shoplifting and theft, but many are unaware that facial recognition technology is used so their actual identity can be determined while they are shopping in the store.
The Brookings Institute recently released a survey of 2,000 adults asking about their feelings relating to the use of facial recognition technology in retail stores, airports, schools and stadiums. Fifty percent of the respondents said they were “unfavorable” to the use of facial recognition technology in retail stores to prevent theft and only 27 percent were favorable. Interestingly, the results differ depending on the respondents’ gender and age, and the region in which they live. As to retail stores using facial recognition technology, 51 percent of women were unfavorable to its use, compared to 49 percent of men. Even more interesting, 58 percent of those aged 18-34 were unfavorable, compared to 50 percent of those aged 35-54 and 40 percent of those over 55.
With regard to schools, men were 38 percent and women 37 percent unfavorable to the use of facial recognition technology, and again, those in the 18-34 age bracket were 44 percent unfavorable, compared to 38 percent of those aged 35-54 and 28 percent of those over the age of 55.
When it comes to airports, 46 percent of women were unfavorable to the use of facial recognition technology, compared to 42 percent of men, and in stadiums, 46 percent of women were unfavorable and 40 percent of men were unfavorable to the use of facial recognition technology.
Those living in the west were by far the ones who object to the use of facial recognition technology in all four categories.
The results are very interesting and some of them make logical sense, but the results are helpful in determining the temperature of consumers with emerging technology in every-day life.