|Facial Recognition Apps Won't be on Glass
By: Jessica Cherok
Maybe one of the biggest privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass is the unauthorized use of facial recognition technology. From its initial debut, Glass brought along fears that users would — intentionally or not — violate the privacy of others via the utilization of facial recognition.
Last week, Google made a big move to make sure that didn’t happen.
In a Google+ announcement, the company posted updated developer policies for Google Glass, banning facial recognition apps. Specifically, the update states, “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.”
Google also included language related to hate speech and explicit material, language that already existed in its Android policies.
In addition to banning facial recognition and the inclusion of existing policies, Google further strengthened privacy protections by disallowing the Google Glass display to be disabled when Glass’s camera is in use. Some had raised concerns that the developers could disable the display, allowing users to take photos or videos without those around them knowing the device was in use.
The hope is that the policies will protect the privacy of Google Glass users, as well as the privacy of those around the wearer. Whether or not eliminating facial recognition from Glass’s capabilities will hurt its overall appeal remains to be seen.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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