Google Bars Facial Recognition Apps for Glass
At least for now, on privacy concerns
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2013 1:12 PM CDT
This 2012 file photo shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin demonstrating Google Glass.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – Google doesn't want users of Google Glass to be able to get the lowdown on people they encounter, at least for the time being. In a blog post last night, the company said it would not allow facial recognition apps for the device, reports Mashable. "As Google has said for several years, we won’t add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place," reads the post. "With that in mind, we won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time."

Engadget notes that a few startups already have such apps in the works, including one called MedRef for Glass that would allow doctors to snap a photo of a patient and use it to call up medical records. Google's move should cheer privacy advocates, but maybe not too much. "Without approval, we don't expect to see any standard apps with the API built-in," writes Richard Lawler. "However with the headset's current wide open nature, we assume interested hackers will be able to get the software running if they so desire."

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
apocalypso
Jun 2, 2013 4:36 PM CDT
ummm... nice token-nod for privacy concerns, google...but if anyone thinks that the 5 seconds it takes to snap a photo of a stranger with a phone in public and run it through a face-recognition program is going to discourage stalking... oh never mind, if google says your privacy is safe and your life is your own, it must be! yay! google cares, kids! really!
johnnylingo
Jun 2, 2013 11:56 AM CDT
Because it's open source based on Android, they won't be able to even slow down such apps, much less stop them. I'm working on a virus that will overlay an image of Channing Tatum whenever someone looks at me.
KusolaX4
Jun 2, 2013 6:49 AM CDT
All this violation of privacy. I guess the next app will undress us.