Face Recognition The Newest Internal Debate At Google Inc.
May 21, 2010
(ChattahBox) – After several scrapes with critics over their failure to properly protect the privacy of users, Google has announced that they are currently debating whether or not to begin a project based on face recognition technology.
Google already uses some facial recognition software, such as being able to search for a face from a tagged photo in other albums in their Picasa photo sharing feature.
But the introduction of a more widely used product that would make face recognition its’ priority is far from a welcome site to most users, who are already worried about the corporation and their ever-reaching, invading hand.
Their habit of being almost sneaky with their practices is also leaving some wondering how this technology would factor into future privacy scandals sure to come.
But Google executive Eric Schmidt is trying to allay any fears, saying that “anything we did in that area would be highly, highly planned, discussed and reviewed. When you go through these things, you review your management procedures.”
Alright, fair enough.
But with each of these new bits of technology, those management procedures don’t seem to have been reviewed until after they were caught out.
For example, when Google Buzz was introduced, it didn’t allow users of Gmail and other products to select if they wanted to be a part. Instead, it just activated and began sharing personal information from your account with other users.
Likewise, if you have any kind of Google account, it will automatically connect to their review service, YouTube, and various other areas, sometimes giving your full and real name if it is connected to your email address.
The anxiety from many about addition face recognition becoming a part of that, not to mention the fact that Google has admitted to storing some information, and is known for sharing information freely with companies and governments…well, that anxiety is well founded.
Let’s see Eric Schmidt allay fears about all of that.