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MoviePass Co-Founder Wants to Use Creepy Facial Recognition In Exchange for Free Movie Tickets

MoviePass Co-Founder Wants to Use Creepy Facial Recognition In Exchange for Free Movie Tickets

Stacy Spikes, one of the original co-founders of MoviePass in 2011 before Helios and Matheson Analytics took over, is setting his sights on a new venture called PreShow. PreShow is developing an app to earn users free movie tickets, but it comes with a catch: users have to watch 15 to 20 minutes of targeted advertising. Worse, it will rely on creepy facial recognition technology to ensure users are actually paying attention.

"If it weren't for facial recognition, I don't think we could still do it," Spikes, the founder and chief executive of PreShow, said in an interview last week. "If not, they could game this all day long."

Forgoing a password, PreShow's app will only unlock with your phone's facial recognition technology. And while you're watching the ads to earn that free ticket, your phone's camera will monitor your level of attention. Walk away or even obscure part of your face and the ad will pause after five seconds. In a demo of PreShow, Spikes unlocked the app via his iPhone 7's front-facing camera.

Our opinion on the new app—which is still under development—is clear: voluntarily using facial recognition technology in any form is a non-starter. Want us to watch 20 minutes of advertising to save $12? No thanks. We’d rather pay $12 to NOT watch commercials. It’s called Netflix.

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