Over the course of the last year or so, there has been a thread of debate in the media regarding the validity and ethics of facial emotion recognition.  This has often reflected the point of view of some data privacy groups who are concerned about the use of facial technologies across several use cases, or the opinions of commercial interests who offer alternative biometric technologies, or traditional research methodologies.

Scrutiny of emerging technologies is vital, and the concerns raised are important points for debate.  Affectiva has led the development of the Emotion AI field for over a decade, and the use of automated facial expression analysis in particular.  We have taken great pains during that time to ensure the technology we offer is both ethical, accurate and meaningful. The very extensive use of our technology across the industry (70% of the world’s largest advertisers) is testament to the success of that effort.  As a result of this work, these criticisms are not relevant to the technology used by Affectiva, and as used by the market research industry, particularly for the evaluation of audience response to content, advertising, and brand experiences. This document explains why.