You’re getting spied on at your local bar and you don’t even know it

In today’s digital age, threats to our personal privacy are more apparent than ever and barrage us on all fronts. The dismantling of Americans’ right to privacy continued with Obama’s renewal of the Patriot Act and now even Facebook and Google are selling customers’ personal information to third-party sources including the U.S. government. The newest threat to our privacy however comes in the semblance of social media and aims to video tape and record your personal information every time you walk into your favorite bar or club. An article in The Week explains:

“The app employs facial-detection software and cameras placed strategically in bars and nightclubs to tell users the age and gender makeup of an establishment they’re thinking of visiting. The problem is that the patrons being scanned by cameras don’t necessarily know that they’re being monitored. Some privacy advocates call it “creepy .” Is it an invasion of privacy for your neighborhood watering hole to install cameras and scan your face?”

“The people behind SceneTap have installed cameras in bars in San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Athens, Ga.; Bloomington, Ind.; Chicago; Gainesville, Fla.; and Madison, Wis. The cameras use facial-detection software, which unlike facial-recognition software, only picks up on basic data about people and can’t specifically identify faces. SceneTap uses this information to come up with a rundown of ages and sexes, so the app can give users real-time updates on which nightspots are full of women, or men, and how old or young the crowd is.”

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