How can we meet customer concerns with facial and body recognition?

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Cat Mules

New Zealand's contact-tracing app is one of the first national tech efforts against COVID-19. As with other facial and body recognition tech though, questions of privacy will inevitably arise.

The potential of biometric data is starting to be realised, Accenture and Fjord report, with several world-leading organisations readily adopting facial and body recognition systems.

In China Alibaba’s Smile to Pay facial recognition payment simply scans a smile. Governments are using it too, with India planning the world’s largest facial recognition system and the Pentagon investing in technology that identifies people by their unique heartbeat.

It is important to approach these innovations with caution.. There’s the real risk biometric apps could make us, and our customers, feel like a human barcode – scanned and transacted upon.

5G and personalisation of the future

Speeding things up, 5G mobile will go mainstream in 2020. Predicted to generate the majority of global media revenues by 2025, Accenture’s latest Fjord report foresees that the impact of biometric data will go far beyond just faster data connection.

Industries will be transformed. Annual mobile media revenues are predicted to double in the next ten years to US$420 billion, the report says.

There’ll be new possibilities for personalised real-time experience from biometric data within physical spaces. We’ll move away from kiosk-type transactions, and toward new service designs that make invisible data transactions more valuable.

We’re not far off, the Fjord report says, from a world where a person can wear an internet-connected glove, and have their movements mimicked in real-time by a robot in another geographic location.

New organisational models, such as bundling of packages and more effective advertising to supercharge businesses to work in real-time, are likely to also arise.

Customer-first with privacy concerns

With technology more integrated in our daily lives, there are opportunities for closer relationships between business and consumer – but questions about privacy must be heard. Fjord recommends three  ways to manage your biometric strategy in a customer friendly manner:

1.Unlock services with biometrics.

Have you audited your customer interaction recently?

Is it as frictionless as it could be? Examine questions of convenience, consent and communications to create new service opportunities.

2. Advocate for data minimalism.

Data breaching in biometrics are more severe than past ways of drawing insight. Both business staff and customer should be made aware of and in alignment with this.

3. Make the invisible visible.

Customers of the future want to be curators of their own personalised experiences – so build a platform in line with what they want.

Ensure customers understand where – and when – a scan, transaction or consent has occurred.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

Data, AI, BI & ML

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