Google: Facial Recognition Too Creepy for Us

Turns out there is a privacy bridge Eric Schmidt won't cross
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2011 10:35 AM CDT
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gestures during his speech at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – Google may know a lot about you, but it doesn’t want to know what you look like. At Google’s “Big Tent” conference, executive chairman Eric Schmidt called the rapid-fire growth of surprisingly accurate facial recognition technology “very concerning,” and indicated that making a face database would be “crossing the creepy line,” and hence something Google was “unlikely” to do, the Telegraph reports. “Some company, by the way, is going to cross that line,” Schmidt added.

He warned governments, however, against trying to prevent such creepiness with poorly-considered legislation that would stifle innovation. “Hopefully the French or any other country won’t pass laws that are so foolish they force Google to not be able to operate in those countries,” he said, referring to a recent French law that requires companies to store unencrypted passwords for one year.

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