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Telefonica Tech signs deal with C2RO for ‘biometric-free’ customer tracking

Telefonica Tech signs deal with C2RO for ‘biometric-free’ customer tracking

Spain’s Telefonica Tech gains technology described as real-time, biometric-free customer footfall and socio-demographic analysis with the announcement of an agreement with Canada’s C2RO. The global deal adds the C2RO PERCEIVE software to Telefonica Tech’s Smart Steps suite of IoT and big data tools for space analysis, according to a release.

The de-identification software performs real-time video analysis typically in retail and smart city settings to determine behavioral patterns to inform future strategy, using the surveillance camera hardware already installed at a venue.

C2RO PERCEIVE is billed as the “world’s first biometric-free AI video analytics solution” on the C2RO site. The artificial intelligence software allows the tracking of people from camera to camera, apparently without biometrics. It develops real-time data on the numbers of people, their socio-demographic analysis such as age, gender and ‘group’ and identifies areas of interest via dwell time.

Privacy is ensured, according to the release, by anonymizing the data then encrypting it while removing any personally identifiable information to ensure adherence to strict privacy regulations such as GDPR.

The new service brings new capabilities to the telco. Telefonica Tech, its technology development spin-off, also channels aggregated mobile phone data through its Smart Steps platform. It hopes for an even richer source of data to maximize the use of physical spaces and that algorithms may offer more personalized experiences.

The de-identification of data, including the stripping out of biometric markers, is a growing industry particularly in the health care sector. Governments such as that in the Canadian Province of Quebec, where CTRO is based, are considering separate legislation to define and regulate de-identification and anonymization.

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