Google plans face recognition technology

More news on the technology vs privacy front with the Financial Times reporting that Google is looking to introduce contentious face recognition technology.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt says it's important for the company to keep innovating but as the FT says, face recognition is likely to become the next privacy flashpoint. Critics say it could be turned into a tool for fraudsters and identity thieves. In the past, the American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns that it could easily be abused, and abused in a passive way because it won't require the knowledge, consent, or participation of the subject.

In any case, is Google the right company to be doing this? Google is already in trouble for sending out its vans to sniff out the WiFi networks people have been visiting, something I covered last week in my blog entry here and as reported here, authorities in Europe and the United States are now moving to investigate Google for ignoring all the rules in using the software.

If this investigation goes ahead, it's likely to be the largest of its kind for a corporation. Which makes you think that Google is likely to put its face recognition plans on hold, at least for now. It will wait until the investigations are over before it can break more privacy rules.


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