MoviePass to monitor viewers using facial recognition and eye tracking

Occurred: February 2022

Movie ticketing service MoviePass said it would return as an app that would track users’ eyes when they watched adverts, prompting privacy concerns.

The new service will reportedly use facial recognition and eye-tracking technology to ensure that viewers are looking directly at adverts in exchange for access to films. To earn movie tickets, users would have to keep their gaze in frame, and look at their screens for the whole ad. A red border appears if they look away, pausing the ads. 

The announcement prompted commentators to question whether people would be willing to surrender their privacy to watch movies on a small screen, as well as questions about the security of customer data.  

MoviePass shuttered in 2019 and declared bankruptcy in 2020. In addition to its stuttering financial performance, it had been plagued with allegations of playing fast and loose with customer data.

Operator: MoviePass
Developer: MoviePass
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Earn virtual currency
Technology: Facial recognition; Eye tracking
Issue: Privacy; Security
Transparency: Privacy

Page info
Type: Issue
Published: February 2022