A subway line in Brazil has implemented facial recognition for advertisements, raising concerns about personal data and privacy

In São Paolo, Brazil, a newly-installed series of Metro platform doors not only display advertisements, but take things a step further by assessing the reactions of the 700,000 passengers who pass through daily with facial recognition and sensors. The doors, which are currently in three Yellow Line stations (Luz, Paulista and Pinheiros) privately run by Via Quatro, have created controversy around privacy and disclosure.

In addition to tracking the number of unique viewers, the doors can provide an estimate of each passenger’s gender and age, but stop short of specifically identifying individuals. Facial reactions are categorized into happy, unsatisfied, surprised and neutral. At this time, Brazil has no laws that prevent the collection or use of personal information in this context—data is protected only when using an app. However, a Personal Data Protection Bill is currently under consideration in the country’s congress, and may lead to increased regulation in the future. Still, officials at the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Protection are attempting to put a hastier stop to Via Quatro’s Yellow Line technology through a public civil action.

Via Quatro


Lead Image: Brazil metro stock photo from Rafael Dias Katayama/Shutterstock

In São Paolo, Brazil, a newly-installed series of Metro platform doors not only display advertisements, but take things a step further by assessing the reactions of the 700,000 passengers who pass through daily with facial recognition and sensors. The doors, which are currently in three Yellow Line stations (Luz, Paulista and Pinheiros) privately run by Via Quatro, have created controversy around privacy and disclosure.

São Paulo metro’s new platform doors can read your face. Privacy advocates are worried. https://t.co/O9Iv1u4mIy pic.twitter.com/EX9rdVOtfe