Council backed Minority Report style ad boards have hit Manchester City Centre streets. When the MiGuide interactive public information scheme was announced it was revealed that “Facial recognition technology built into the screens will enable advertisers to target ads based on the age and gender of users”.
Recent moves towards facial recognition technology in public spaces has alarmed privacy campaigners. Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch said plans for Tesco to use targeted scanning in their petrol stations could be "literally scanning who you are".
Far from distancing himself from this new invasion of privacy, council boss Richard Leese said “these interactive screens are intelligent tools on our streets”.
Pirate Party Manchester's Loz Kaye said:
"It's really worrying that Manchester supports this kind of snooping. We should be informed of how our personal details are being used, and be able to give or withhold consent. That includes our faces."
"Our council should figure out that 'Minority Report' was supposed to be entertainment, not a to-do list."
"It is beyond belief that Manchester Labour are prepared to pay for services with gender based advertising. This really puts our city back, not forward as Councillor Leese seems to think."
"The claim is that they are cost neutral. They are not. The cost is your privacy."