Google has taken to its official Glass page on Google+ this Friday to reveal a short, but very informative post surrounding the potential for facial recognition apps on the Glass platform. Many technology enthusiasts have often complained that Google has shown signs of operating less than moral policies in the past, but their current stance on apps which come bundled with facial recognition for Glass is all set to take the moral and privacy based high ground. Read on for more details.
The Google Explorer program was launched a while back, with the intention of engaging the opinion and feedback of select users in order to best forge a way forward for Glass. Google has taken the keen opportunity to actually listen to the feedback which they have received over time, and decided that facial recognition "Glassware" represents too much of a privacy concern at this moment in time. The decision has been taken that no submitted apps that offer this type of recognition will be approved.
In addition to effectively telling third-party developers to halt any development of facial recognition based apps, Google has also stated that they don’t have any plans to add this type of feature into their own products in the foreseeable future:
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.
It stands perfectly clear, that although, Google has a firm stance against facial recognition apps for Glass at the current moment in time, they haven’t entirely dismissed the potential for this type of feature to be implemented in the future – either by themselves or enthusiastic developers. The post does state that "strong privacy protections" would need to be in place before this is allowed to happen, and considering how Glass perfectly lends itself to this type of detection, then it should only be a matter of time until we see more on this topic.
It may not be the news that a lot of developers have been wanting to hear – especially those who have been working on Glassware of this type – but we can take some comfort in the fact that Google is at least thinking of the wider security concerns before opening this up to those developers.