CHURCHES can now track which members of their congregation are
actually turning up for services thanks to new facial recognition
The makers say that 30 churches around the world have installed
the system, which is said to be able to match live CCTV footage
with faces of parishioners saved in its database.
The program, Churchix, has been developed by a small Israeli
software firm called Face-Six, and is being used in the United
States, Portugal, Spain, Indonesia, and India, says Face-Six's CEO,
The largest church using the technology has more than 10,000
members entered into its database, The Times reported.
The system is designed to allow church administrators, or those
managing church events, to monitor how many are coming to events
and services, without needing to count.
All that is needed is a high-resolution photograph of each
member to be inputted into the software. It can then identify that
person from footage of any event.
The software has prompted some privacy fears. The director of
Big Brother Watch, Emma Carr, told The Times that churches
have been able to track their congregations for centuries without
"Let's hope that our places of worship remain environments where
we can still expect a high level of privacy," she said.
Other programs developed by Face-Six include a smartphone app
that can identify an actor or celebrity.