Tokyo taxis use face recognition to show riders ads

Tokyo is using facial recognition in an unexpected way to serve up targeted advertisements to taxi passengers as they’re ferried to their destination, based on their age and gender.  

Tokyo taxis use face recognition to show riders adsThe unsettling practice was discovered by Google privacy engineer Rosa Golijan, who posted a photo of a tablet she encountered when hopping into a taxi in Japan.

A tablet on the back of a headrest declared that facial recognition scanners were recording passengers via a camera located in the front of the device. 

The image data is used to estimate gender in order to deliver the most optimized content,’ a notice on the tablet stated. 

The gender estimation runs once at the beginning of the advertisement program and the image data is discarded immediately after the estimation processing.

Any data that’s recorded is deleted from both the tablet and the server, the notice claims. However, that didn’t stop the many sufficiently creeped-out users from calling out the privacy risks associated with the device.