Like a scene from the movie “Minority Report,” word comes that vending machines in Japan can determine your age and gender and recommend the appropriate beverage.
A machine inside Tokyo’s Shinagawa train station features a camera and a 47-inch touch-screen monitor. “When a person stands in front of the screen, a camera captures his image and a sensor determines the person’s gender and approximate age,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “Based on that reading, the machine ‘recommends’ drinks that fit the customer’s profile.”
Privacy advocates are concerned that the images could be stored, cross-referenced with personal data and sold. Governments could use the images to track its citizens without their knowledge, much like the U.S. warrantless wiretaps after 9/11. Commercial monitoring comes after several municipalities began mounting video cameras at intersections in U.S. cities, ostensibly to deter crime.
And you thought you only had to worry about online privacy.