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It’s late news but news, nonetheless — according to a report from The Next Web, Google will be putting a ban in place on any Google Glass apps that use facial recognition. The ban will stay in place until Google has developed protections so that facial recognition through Glass can’t be abused by apps.

Without a ban in place, Fred Armisen could have been discovering your identity through facial recognition.
Without a ban in place, Fred Armisen could have been discovering your identity through facial recognition.

Since Google Glass made its way into the world, there have been a host of privacy concerns surrounding the device. Most of these concerns revolve around the front-facing camera inside the Glass device and how it could potentially be used to take photos or video recordings of unsuspecting people. The facial recognition issue is another one that stems from the camera installed inside the device.

Facial recognition could be used in a number of ways that violate privacy — for instance, matching someone’s face to a social media profile, which could in turn give you that person’s name and where they’re from. If that person isn’t offering this information to you voluntarily, obtaining it through a Glass facial recognition app could be seen as a major violation of that person’s privacy.

We’re just starting to explore the privacy implications that surround a device like Google Glass, and as more people get their hands on it over the next year or two, we’ll learn a lot more about how such a device can fit into our society. While facial recognition technology will undoubtedly play a big part in some of the things that Glass can do in the future, it’s good that Google recognized the need for protections before a Google Glass app taught us all a hard lesson.

What do you think about Google’s ban on Glass apps that use facial recognition? Leave your thoughts below.


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