Google debates face recognition technology
By Maija Palmer in London Financial Times
Published: May 19 2010 22:42 | Last updated: May 20 2010 01:02
Executives are wrestling over whether to launch controversial facial recognition technology after a barrage of criticism over its privacy policies.
Eric Schmidt, chief executive, said a series of public disputes over privacy issues had caused the management team to review its procedures and the launch of new technologies. According to Google executives, facial recognition is one of the key topics of internal debate.
Mr Schmidt said: “Facial recognition is a good example . . . anything we did in that area would be highly, highly planned, discussed and reviewed. When you go through these things, you review your management procedures.”
However, he would not rule out any eventual roll-out, saying: “It is important that we continue to innovate.”
Facial recognition has the potential to be the next privacy flashpoint. Google already uses the technology in its Picasa photo sharing service. This lets users tag some of the people in their photos and then searches through other albums to suggest other pictures in which the same faces appear.