Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Disallows Facial Recognition in Glass Apps

Worried about so-called “Glassholes” automatically identifying the faces of people around them? Google says it doesn’t want that to happen, either.

google_glassThe company tonight posted an update to developer policies for its wearable device Google Glass that explicitly disallows facial recognition apps.

It explained in a Google+ update: “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.”

The company also said that developers would not be allowed to disable the Google Glass display while using the device’s camera. This comes in response to concerns that Glass wearers could surreptitiously take photos and videos of their surroundings, without those nearby able to see that they were doing so by noticing the lit display in front of their faces.

Further, Google pulled in existing Android policies for hate speech, gambling and explicit material and added them to the Glass terms. (The Android policies don’t mention facial recognition.)

Said a Google spokesperson, “Our Explorer Program makes users active participants in evolving Glass ahead of a wider consumer launch. In keeping with this approach, we’ve updated our developer policies. We look forward to learning more from our users as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work