Google on Friday said that it would not approve any Glass app that uses facial recognition technology, at least until it has some privacy
protections in place.
When Google started the Glass Explorer Program nearly a year ago the
company wanted to make people active participants in shaping the future
of this technology ahead of a broader consumer launch. Since the wide
open nature and the Glass Project concept allowed it, some companies were
teased to offer apps that could take advantage of a facial recognition
technology. But due to privacy concerns, Google is not allowing it:
"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," Google's Glass Team said in a blog
Google's announcement follows a letter sent by
members of a U.S. congressional group to Google CEO Larry Page,
requesting information on how the device handles privacy issues. Their
questions focus on whether Glass would be able to use facial recognition
technology to reveal personal information about people, or whether users
would be able to request that information.
Glass lets wearers take pictures, record video, send messages, or perform other tasks with touch controls or by speaking followed by a command. Yje device connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi or by being wirelessly tethered to mobile phones. Pictures or video can be shared through the Google+ social network.