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Google: No Plans for Glass Facial Recognition Apps (At This Time)

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sergey-brin-google-glassGoogle has told the world that it will not approve any facial recognition software for Glass until it's had time to have a good think about it.

Glass has raised some eyebrows among privacy watchers, and is already banned from places where people might get more from it than proprietors would like. So, for example, the cyber spectacles will not be welcome in casinos and strip clubs.

In the face of increasing complaints and worries the firm made a Google+ post in which it denied plans for facial recognition apps.

"When we started the Explorer Program nearly a year ago our goal was simple: we wanted to make people active participants in shaping the future of this technology ahead of a broader consumer launch," it said. "We've been listening closely to you, and many have expressed both interest and concern around the possibilities of facial recognition in Glass. 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."

Reactions to Glass have been mixed. While some think that the technology is a bridge too far, others can't wait to strap it to their face and jump out of a plane wearing it.

A bunch of U.S. congressmen have expressed their concerns about the technology.

"As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American," said the letter that was sent to Google CEO Larry Page. "Will Google Glass have the capacity to store any data on the device itself? If so, will Google Glass implement some sort of user authentication system to safeguard stored data? If not, why not? If so, please explain."

Google didn't comment on that letter, but its announcement shows that it is aware of the buzz around its Glass eyeware.

"We've learned a lot from you in just a few weeks and we'll continue to learn more as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead," it added.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.


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