Q: How is it possible to combine privacy protection with facial detection technology?
A: Facial Detection software, sometimes referred to as Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA), is often constructed with Privacy by Design principles. Privacy by Design means that the software was built with embedded privacy protections to ensure privacy standards are upheld. SceneTap only employs this type of Facial Detection software in our technology system. Please review this link to learn more about privacy by design and AVA. http://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/AVAwhite6.pdf?search=search
Q: Does the software know my identity?
A: The simple answer is, NO. The software does not identify, profile, or track individuals.
A more complex explanation:
The technology uses pattern detection algorithms to scan real-time feeds, looking for patterns that match the software’s understanding of faces. It then accurately predicts "what you appear to look like" based on age and gender. The algorithm does not have the capability to recognize individual faces. There is no database used to match faces against, as would be the case with facial recognition technology.
Q: Are the sensors inside the places recording and storing the video feed?
A: Absolutely not. The sensor acts solely as a detector for the software. Each video frame is processed to detect the presence of faces, and is then destroyed in real time.
Q: Is the video feed streamed to the public?
A: Never. The technology system runs behind a closed circuit, password protected wall, to which the public never has any access.
Q: Does the demographic data update each time an individual enters a place? So would someone know if a female or male just walked into an establishment?
A: No. All of the demographic data that is streamed to the public is non-individualized based on a rolling 30 minute period of activity. For example, if a user views the demographic information at 8:37pm, it will display the demographic information on people that entered the place between 8:07 - 8:37pm. Data is aggregated over a period of time and updated in blocks to add another layer of anonymity.
Q: Does SceneTap inform individuals with regard to what places are equipped with this infrastructure and how the data is being used?
FAQ's on How It Works
Q: What technology does SceneTap use to provide real-time information?
A: SceneTap integrates leading edge hardware and software to create its technology system. To determine basic demographic information, age and gender, SceneTap uses anonymous facial detection technology (not to be confused with facial recognition technology) placed inside network places. Also, SceneTap uses people counting software to count the number of people entering and leaving a place at any given time to report crowd size. As mentioned above in the privacy section, the technology system was built with privacy standards in mind.
Q: What is the difference between facial detection and facial recognition?
A: Facial detection technology, which SceneTap uses to deliver real-time information on the scene of its partner places, is completely anonymous. Facial detection (commonly mistaken for “facial recognition”) merely detects the presence of a face and estimates the gender and age of the face based on appearance. Nothing in the process recognizes the individuals who pass in front of the sensors.
Alternatively, Facial recognition, which attempts to determine a person's actual identity, is not a technology that SceneTap uses nor has any plans to use.
Q: Common uses of facial detection technology
A: Facial detection technology is already being applied across many industries to produce positive benefits to society
Digital Cameras - You know those boxes on the screen of your digital camera that highlight faces right before you take a picture to make it come out much clearer? You guessed it, facial detection technology.
Facial Detection applied to energy conservation - Face detection is also being researched in the area of energy conservation. Televisions and computers can save energy by reducing the brightness people tend to watch TV while doing other tasks and not focused 100% on the screen. The TV brightness stays the same level unless the user lowers it manually. The system can recognize the face direction of the TV user. When the user is not looking at the screen, the TV brightness is lowered. When the face returns to the screen, the brightness is increased.
These are just two examples of exciting new applications of facial detection technology. Like any type of technology, SceneTap’s use and implementation of facial detection is intended to contribute convenience and efficiency to every-day life. We do-so with privacy in mind.