Google Glass Says No to Facial Recognition, at Least for Now
Google answers critics by saying that it will not allow facial recognition on Glass until strong privacy-protection measures are in place.Google Glass has been a hit so far for Google, but some critics argue they continue to be worried about the privacy implications surrounding the use of Glass, which is an eyewear-mounted computer that features a still camera, a video cam and other real-time recording features. In answer to some of those critics, Google has now pledged that it won't approve of any facial-recognition apps that could run on Glass until strong privacy controls can be created to guard against misuse of such a feature. "Our Explorer Program makes users active participants in evolving Glass ahead of a wider consumer launch," a Google spokesperson, who asked to remain anonymous, told eWEEK in a June 3 email. "In keeping with this approach, we've updated our developer policies to include not allowing facial-recognition Glassware at this time. We look forward to learning more from our users as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead." The spokesperson's comments came after the Google Glass team posted a message announcing its stance on facial-recognition apps on the Glass Google+ page on May 31.
"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. 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."