We recently mentioned about Google Glass and the awesomeness of it. We also mentioned that it had been soon hacked by developers to tweak a bit more. Lastly we shared another piece of info that one of these developers plans to introduce a third party facial recognition API that takes full advantage of Glass. Well the folks at Google did not surely like this piece of fact. There is a reason why Google did not set up a native app for this beautiful piece of tech.
Google claims strictly that it is working on security and privacy features for Glass for the sole benefit of its end users. The features remain mystery to date. However Google took immediate action when it heard the news about a third party facial recognition app; it stated on its G+ channel anyone who comes into contact with such a third party app should reject the glassware as it abuses the core sacredness of the glass mounted computer.
Google Glass privacy concerns had spiked after news of the ability of the camera to match your camera snaps to your online media presence and profile. Google seems to have addressed all of this by the following statement:
“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. 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.
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.”
Google has taken swift measure to update its policy on the Google Glass’s developer website, where it has explicitly stated that:
“Don’t use the camera or microphone to cross-reference and immediately present personal information identifying anyone other than the user, including use cases such as facial recognition and voice print. Applications that do this will not be approved at this time.”
Google is facing a lot of heat and pressure from concerns regarding privacy and security. With a mountable computer on your face and has the ability to connect to the internet and take pictures and videos does pose a lot of privacy and security challenges within itself to be overcome.
Google is trying its best to address them all and is strictly laying down the law this time. It has been working on amending policies for the Glass as well as its mobile operating system Android, where a section on content policies regarding hate speech, gambling and others have been added. It looks like Google is not kidding anymore and is serious. Google has clamped the apps labelled Glassware which require using the Mirror API and are installed via web interface. They are provided limited access to the hardware and are authorized by Google only. Developers have the freedom of building native apps of their liking and install them directly to the Glass. However it has laid the foot down on facial recognition apps for now.