App Using Facial Recognition In SF Bars Raising Privacy Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A new app that uses facial recognition software to tell users what’s going on in the San Francisco bar scene is raising privacy concerns.

Nonetheless, more than 20 establishments with facial detection cameras will go online Friday night with the app called SceneTap.

The cameras will be used to determine the approximate age, gender and number of people going into participating bars.

The start-up company then uses the data to provide real-time information about what’s going on at the bars through its app.

One of those participating bars is Polo Grounds, a new bar near AT&T Park, that’s partnering with SceneTap as a promotional tool.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Polo Grounds General Manager Janine Gallagher addressed the privacy concerns, saying no one’s face will ever be shown anywhere or recorded. She added that if the camera becomes uncomfortable for patrons, it would come down.

“The general public will only see how busy the bar is and the ratio of male versus female,” she said.

Patrons seem intrigued by the novelty of the app have said it could be used practically to see if there’s one bar you’re more interested in going to than another.

SceneTap is already used in Chicago and Austin.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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