Locative Lab

researching locative media

Google debates face recognition technology


Face.gif Google executives are wrestling over whether to launch controversial facial recognition technology after a barrage of criticism over its privacy policies. The FT reports.

“Facial recognition has the potential to be the next privacy flashpoint. Google already uses the technology in its Picasa photo sharing service. This lets users tag some of the people in their photos and then searches through other albums to suggest other pictures in which the same faces appear.

However, Google has held back on launching the technology more broadly. It was not included, for example, in the Google Goggles product, launched last year. This allows people to search for something on the internet by taking a picture of it on a mobile phone.

Privacy campaigners have raised fears that adding facial recognition to Goggles would allow users to track strangers through a photograph, making it into an ideal tool for stalkers and identity fraudsters.

Google’s dilemma is that other companies, such as Israeli start-up Face.com, are developing face-recognition tools, and Google fears that it could lose an important advantage by further delaying a product launch.”

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About

Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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