Google Isn't Ready to Use Facial Recognition Software in Google Glass
June 3, 2013 8:02 AM
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It may later after privacy safeguards are in place
Google's new tech eyewear,
, has sparked concern over privacy and the kind of data it collects. But Google attempted to ease some anxiety by axing facial recognition from its tech specs.
Last week, Google said that it won't be approving facial recognition technology for Google Glass at this time. However, that could change at some point after better privacy safeguards are put in place.
"When we started the Explorer Program nearly a year ago our goal was simple: we wanted to make people active participants in shaping the future of this technology ahead of a broader consumer launch," said Google. "We've been listening closely to you, and many have expressed both interest and concern around the possibilities of facial recognition in Glass. As Google has said for several years, we won't add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place. With that in mind, we won't be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time.
"We've learned a lot from you in just a few weeks and we'll continue to learn more as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead."
Facial recognition software automatically identifies a person based on digital images or videos.
Google Glass is a wearable computer that looks a lot like glasses, and it acts as a hands-free smartphone that is Internet-connected and responds to voice recognition as well as touch.
Google Glass is sold on an application-only basis at this point, but Google is no longer accepting any more. However, recent reports state that Google Glass will
sell as test units in Los Angeles
this Thursday for $1,500 USD.
While wearable computers (like Google Glass) appear to be the next big wave in tech gadgets, some are wondering if headwear is the way to go. Even Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that talking to Google Glass is
"the weirdest thing."
"There are obviously places where Google Glasses are inappropriate," said Schmidt, referring to the fact that only those wearing the glasses can see presented information.
While Google focuses on headwear, other companies like Apple and Microsoft are working on
that act similar to smartphones. A March report stated that Apple is planning to release its smart watch later this year.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/3/2013 9:27:28 AM
That is all.
Google Glass is genius...
6/4/2013 2:38:27 PM
It's genius, and scary. The problem with any cool tech is that you have to trust those who have unfettered access to the data.
i.e. Google (and subsidiaries/large corps) and the government.
If you can trust that the important parts (as defined by the data owner) of the data is truly secure and walled off, then we can proceed with the awesomeness.
The problem is that while we have the ability to have digital privacy, there is no cultural attitude that treats digital invasion of privacy the same as invasion of privacy in person.
Google reading my email is just as bad as Google rifling through my filing cabinet.
6/6/2013 11:10:38 AM
This article (no doubt based on a press release from Google) means that Google is probably already either testing the capability without users' knowledge, or has already deployed the capability and just isn't making the information available to users (but you can be sure they're making it available to government agencies, just as Facebook was probably doing before they rolled their facial recognition service out to users). Google is already 'partnered' with the NSA, remember. They are probably only waiting to roll out the facial recognition capability product until consumers are 'ready' to consider the idea that every face they look at will be identified and tracked by the government.
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