Home > Article > Partygoers boycott bars using SceneTap app that scans faces | News.com.au

Partygoers boycott bars using SceneTap app that scans faces | News.com.au

IT’S the app that promises to tell you whether the next bar’s full of kittens or cougars – or too many blokes – just by scanning faces at the door.

And while real-time updates on crowd size, age and gender could be useful for some, critics in at least one US city are threatening to boycott any venue that uses it.

The head of developer SceneTap, Cole Harper, has responded by writing an open letter to “San Francisco” as the technology rolls out in 25 local bars.

“Dear San Francisco,” Mr Harper, 28, posted after critics branded the app an invasion of privacy and a “creepy” tool for “men to hunt down women”.

“We’ve taken a lot of heat in the past few days and I can completely understand the concern.“I realise there are aspects of our technology that could appear to be controversial and raise serious red flags for people, and I assure you I’m not taking it lightly.”

Mr Harper said the company had ruled out “facial recognition” technology, which could identify a patron, in favour of “facial detection”, which could generate data but did not store identifying images.

The app works by relaying pictures of patrons taken at the door that are mapped onto a grid. An algorithm then matches the facial dimensions to a database of averages for age and gender to make a match.

It also lets venues decide on business rules to “cap out” what statistics would show, with the percentage of males never exceeding 72 per cent and females 58 per cent – in case of a swarm of males showed up as a “correction”.

Despite the outcry over privacy, Mr Harper said the tool was supposed to be a “lighthearted app for consumers and one that would help venue owners with their marketing efforts”.

via Partygoers boycott bars using SceneTap app that scans faces | News.com.au.

Strange Random Scanning Quote:

Doing linear scans over an associative array is like trying to club someone to death with a loaded Uzi.” – Larry Wall

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