The difference between using blockchain-based technology to provide either facial analysis or facial recognition information has been spelt out by digital out of home (DOOH) advertising specialist Bidooh. Distinguishing between the two aspects allows for a deeper understanding of the privacy and legal issues that are currently being debated by authorities and individuals alike.
— Target offline shoppers like online customers. (@bidoohuk) May 31, 2019
Facial analysis, such as that employed within the Bidooh platform, is of great commercial interest as it can gather generic information such as age-group, gender and expression“…without divulging sensitive information about the customer that may lead to their identification.”
Facial recognition though is of more interest to those tasked with ensuring security as it “…literally puts a name (and other information) to a face.”
Differing Aims, Agendas and Challenges
Various governing bodies and agencies, including most recently a think-tank for the European Union, are making recommendations to adopt a decentralised digital identification system on a blockchain that can include some element of self-sovereign identity (SSI) whereby the individual retains, at least in concept, some level of control over their own data.
Responding to the latest EU report, Ott Vatter, managing director of Estonia’s e-Residency programme told the Global Government Forum that “Digital identity is key to establishing trust. If the highest standard of signature can be created using time-stamped blockchain technology, this would unlock a truly decentralised way of exchanging documents and data in EU.”
Bidooh, on the other hand, are not concerned with a person’s identity but solely focused on applying the less-intrusive facial analysis option to optimise advertising that is capable of “displaying the right message to the right person at the right time.”
This is achieved by technology housed within the Bidooh billboard determining generic factors of an approaching individual so an advert relevant to them can be displayed. Not only can specific offers be tailored to people within certain parameters but interaction through QR codes can facilitate customer interaction with the advertiser.
Such a system is seen to be a benefit to both parties – the individual sees advertisements that may genuinely interest them and the advertiser can see via a dashboard how their campaign is performing in real time.
This perception of a win-win situation is already proving much harder for governmental organisations to reach with their application of facial recognition technology.