Walgreens cameras want to guess your age, gender to deliver in-store ads

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

When you pick up your favorite beverage or food items, a camera could soon be watching you as part of a new "smart shelf" technology that wants to know more about consumers and their buying habits.

Some drugstores like Walgreens have installed cooler doors with cameras. The cameras will try to guess your age and gender and recognize features. They'll then use that information to send you real-time, targeted advertisements.

"The secret sauce here is not just the camera, but then a screen that can work with the camera," says tech expert Lance Ulanoff. "So if the screen detects that, say, you're a guy with a beard, it might show you an ad for shaving cream. So that might just appear on the screen at that moment."

News 12 spoke with some people who call the new tech "creepy," and others, like Hicksville's Bryan Reyes, who say that's just how things are nowadays. Raya Abusaab, of Plainview, calls it an invasion of privacy.

Susan Gottehrer, the Nassau chapter director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, released a statement saying in part: "Every time companies or governments introduce any kind of new surveillance technology, we should be asking where is the information going, how accurate is it, what biases might be built into it, and whether the loss of privacy is worth it."

Currently, Walgreens has the cameras at six locations in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington state.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Coram family trapped in house without power due to storm

    Coram family trapped in house without power due to storm

    Thursday, October 17 2019 10:06 PM EDT2019-10-18 02:06:41 GMT
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
  • School Spirit Showdown: Vote on the Top 12 schools

    School Spirit Showdown: Vote on the Top 12 schools

    It's a battle for bragging rights! News 12 is looking for the schools with the most school spirit! Is it yours?

    It's a battle for bragging rights! News 12 is looking for the schools with the most school spirit! Is it yours?

  • Poll: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

    Poll: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

    Friday, October 18 2019 4:54 AM EDT2019-10-18 08:54:23 GMT
    It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Do you prefer your cupcake with or without frosting?It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Do you prefer your cupcake with or without frosting?
    It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Do you prefer your cupcake with or without frosting?It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Do you prefer your cupcake with or without frosting?
    It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day! YUM!
    It's National Chocolate Cupcake Day! YUM!
  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Monday, October 7 2019 12:12 PM EDT2019-10-07 16:12:23 GMT
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."