I am Geoff Fitzpatrick the founder and MD of Orbscreen. I agree with many of your fears expressed in your article but many of your facts are incorrect and your valid fears are very misdirected.
Please allow me share the facts about what we are doing // not doing.
We are systems integrators and not software developers and we operate a screen network in Dublin, Cork and Galway
We also are full disclosure and have nothing to hide as you can see from our website. We have been fully transparent about the launch of this audience measurement solution, provided by our partner Quividi. We announced it in many news outlets and have recently been featured in the Irish Times and on RTE news.
The reason Orb was so transparent is because there was nothing to hide.
Quividi’s software relies on face detection and face analysis, not on face recognition.
It only collects fully anonymised data.
It doesn’t collect any personal data. It doesn’t record or store any images or videos.
Quividi has detailed information about privacy here. http://www.quividi.com/privacy/
Quividi has been in operation for more than 10 years, are present in 50+ countries and never had any infringement on personal data. The company has been audited by France’s (one of the toughest country with regards to privacy) local data protection agency (CNIL) which confirmed they fully respect people’s privacy.
I would suggest that you reach out to Quividi — they would answer any of your questions, as they always did with journalists and bloggers over the years.
Please also note that the solution is not just a counting solution, but also a tool for better advertising. Advertisers and agencies can use it to create more contextualised, more engaging campaigns. Have a look as this fantastic campaign in the UK for Women’s Aid, which relied on Quividi’s solution: https://vimeo.com/132703608
You say you are a humanist and you say you are a technologist and I believe you are sincere in those assertions. However I must raise issue with your approach pretending to be somebody you are not. When you called yesterday you pretended to be a faux customer. Your line of questioning was one dimensional and you didn’t enquire as to the specifics of the privacy status of what we are doing.
If you did we would have had a much more fruitful conversation and your article would have been much better informed. I hope this response will go some of the way to filling in the gaps with facts and not the conclusions you quickly jumped too.
You are evidently an influential blogger and your opinion is significant as I can tell from the viral nature of your article. But in my opinion you have played up to peoples fears to increase your significance. By failing to accurately portray the facts all you have achieved in reality is landed a small enterprising company that supports the livelihoods of 4 people in a Public Relations swamp this morning.
Being a humanist should cut both ways and I gently encourage you to acknowledge that with such significance should come equal responsibility. Inaccurate journalism with fake or misrepresented facts is not a human value any of us should admire.
If you would like to have a conversation as you claim; I would only be too happy to oblige. I suspect we may have more in common than may initially meets the eye!!