More than two dozen churches around the world have installed a facial-recognition system that monitors which members of the flock have actually shown up for the Sunday sermon. The system is called Churchix and was developed by Israeli software company, Face-six. It continually scans the religious center's CCTV feed and matches congregation members to a pre-existing database of their faces -- reportedly with 99 percent accuracy.
"Church events are the church way to interact with its members, and naturally the attendance to those events is very important," Face-Six CEO Moshe Greenshpan told Churchmag. "Event attendance stats help the church to measure the success of each event, see what event types are more popular than others and also track the attendance of specific members." That way, church officials can monitor everything from the gender ratios of attendees at specific events to ensure that elderly or infirmed church-members haven't suddenly stopped coming around.
However, not everybody is praising the Churchix. As Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, told the Mirror UK, "This is a clear example of completely over-the-top use of technology. Churches have managed to note who is in their congregation for hundreds of years without resorting to highly intrusive means."