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

(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."

This 2012 file photo shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin demonstrating Google Glass.
This 2012 file photo shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin demonstrating Google Glass.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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