Google to block all facial recognition software on Glass until privacy issues are addressed
Google just recently posted an important notice to its Google Glass channel on G+ that puts to rest all privacy concerns. Many people, which includes the U.S. Congress, had privacy concerns with the prototype eye-ware. Google is trying to calm these fears by saying they are rejecting any ‘Glassware’ that would jeopardize any individual’s security and privacy until all proper protections are set in place.
When Google released a limited number of their Glass as a test phase, many questions began to arise whether they could be used to effectively invade people’s privacy. One particular concern about the glassware is whether facial recognition software could be used to match up a person with their G+ profile or maybe even a Facebook profile.
Over the past several days, many reports suggested that Glass would be adding facial recognition software. According to Lambda Labs, their face recognition API, which was launched into beta last year, is currently in use by approximately 1,000 developers that include many outside of the U.S. This announcement came just after Congress called in Google executives to inquire if Glass might be a danger to privacy concerns.
In Google’s recent policy announcement found on the Google Glass channel on G+, the company was quick to calm concerns beginning to grow about personal privacy and intrusion. Furthermore, all software that is to be developed for Glass would not be allowed until all privacy protection protocols were set in place.
“We’ve been listening closely to you, and many have expressed both interest and concern around the possibilities of facial recognition in Glass,” Google writes in part. “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.”
The search giant also updated their policies on the Glass developer site, and they added a new clause that clearly says the camera and microphone are not to be used to cross-reference data on individuals other than the user.