Google is not known for its regard for users’ privacy concerns and like many of its other offerings, the company’s new work-in-progress, a face recognition app, has also come under fire. The internet search giant is currently working on a new app which will use facial recognition technology for accessing its users’ personal data. However, unlike previous blunders such as Google books, where the company chose to provide ‘opt-out’ feature, the new app comes with an opt-in option. Seems like, the company has learned some lessons from all those enquiries and lawsuits it is facing for its apparent breach of its users’ privacy rights.
Apparently, the new venture is an offshoot of the company’s earlier work ‘Google Goggles’. However, at the time of introducing Goggles, the company chose not to incorporate facial recognition feature so as to avoid legal hassles. Google had a good reason to do so, as it had to shell out hefty sum for settling its ‘Buzz’ fracas, where its social networking service dished out identities of the Gmail users’ contacts.
Although, the kind and extent of information which can be gleaned by using this technology is not known, but we once you are able to know the name attached to the photo of a person, it is then fairly easy to find out their house address etc.
It is funny that this invasive technology is coming from a company whose executives are not quite willing to give up their own privacy rights. According to an upcoming book, Eric Schmidt of Google, tried to get information about a political donation made by him to be deleted from Google search results. Apparently, the request was rejected by the then vice president of global online sales and operations, Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg is now working with Facebook and Eric Schmidt is all set to be replaced by Larry Page. Despite all the privacy concerns, I am pretty sure that folks would be willing to try out the app. Let us know if you would opt-in for this app.