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Tech

Facebook App Uses Facial Recognition To Provide Deals

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Facedeals, a Facebook app uses facial recognition to offer customers discounts at businesses. (redpepper)

Facedeals, a Facebook app uses facial recognition to offer customers discounts at businesses. (redpepper)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — How much is your personal privacy worth to you? A new Facebook app uses facial recognition to offer customers discounts at businesses.

The app called “Facedeals” uses cameras installed at shops and restaurants. Users who opt-in would be recognized as they walk through the door. The app would automatically check-in the customer on Facebook and they would also be notified of special deals through their smartphone, based on their history of ‘likes.’

Facedeals is not a Facebook product, but uses the huge social network’s platform.

App developer Tim McMullen of redpepper, the Nashville-based ad agency behind Facedeals, said it’s a big marketing plus for businesses.

KCBS’ Tech Report with Larry Magid:

“The other thing you’re opting in for, is to automatically check in. So, if you walk into an establishment, a restaurant in San Francisco and it’s got the Facedeals program, it sees you, it recognizes you, and says ‘Thanks for checking in on Facebook, here’s half off your appetizer today,’” McMullen said.

Joanna Wills, an owner of a frozen yogurt shop, said the app is an interesting ploy.

“I’m in for trying anything, because generating business is the name of the game. We’ve been here a year and we’re hoping to grow more,” Wills said.

As technology keeps evolving, privacy is disappearing, making some people uncomfortable with the app.

“I mean, I’m even a little sensitive to that,” McMullen said. “Unfortunately, we’re all starting to realize that our house is on Google Street View. And there’s cameras everywhere, giving us speeding tickets and making sure we don’t steal money from the ATM and doing things everywhere we’re being recorded, taking photos. What I liken it to, the more intuitive marketing could be, the more people actually appreciate it.”

Facedeals is not currently available in the Bay Area, but the developer hopes to launch the product in San Francisco and other key cities by the holidays.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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