Earlier today, CNN reported, that Google is working on a mobile application that would allow users to snap pictures of people’s faces in order to access their personal information, a director for the project said this week.
In order to be identified by the software, people would have to check a box agreeing to give Google permission to access their pictures and profile information, said Hartmut Neven, the Google engineering director for image-recognition development.
“We recognize that Google has to be extra careful when it comes to these [privacy] issues,” Neven told CNN in an exclusive interview. “Face recognition we will bring out once we have acceptable privacy models in place.”
Google isn’t planning to release a version of its mobile app Goggles with face recognition technology. Google has had the capability for several years but so far refrained from putting it out in the world other than on Picasa.
A Google spokesperson said that the CNN piece was based on totally inaccurate conjuncture. That speculation was in turn based on an interview with a Google engineer Hartmut Neven taken out of context.
The Google spokesperson said that Google wouldn’t put out facial recognition in a mobile app unless there were very strict privacy controls in place. The CNN article appeared to address that very subject with discussion of an “opt-in” system.
Google made the following statement:
“As we’ve said for over a year, we won’t add face recognition to Goggles unless we can figure out a strong privacy model for it. We haven’t figured it out.”