Google: No Facial Recognition Apps Will be Approved For Google Glass

Google Glass launched at the 2012 Google I/O event.

Google Glass launched at the 2012 Google I/O event.

Think Google Glass would be great if it could help you look at someone and automatically bring up information about them? Looks like you’ll have to do it the hard way and recognize them yourself. Google’s put up a statement saying it won’t approve any facial recognition apps.

Google posted on Google+ about this, saying:

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.

The Next Web also spotted a clause now in the developer guidelines and policies for Glass about this:

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Glass | Top News


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • atatata

    Bad. I hoped it would be left to people to decide what makes good or bad app. I did not expect Google to be a policeman of Glass’s AppStore.

  • Graeme Caldwell

    I don’t think a blanket ban is the right course of action. On the one hand, it would be appalling if a person could walk down the street and get identifying information for everyone they look at. There is value in real world anonymity (which is not the same as an expectation of privacy in public places) – think of how life would change if everyone knew who everyone else was all the time.

    On the other hand, it shouldn’t be impossible to do something with Google+ circles that limits the range of responses – you only get a facial recognition response if they’ve circled you (at a party or meeting or whatever). They could also make it voluntary and attached to a location – every body at a party sets a “facial recognition” permission for everyone else logged into the same event (Google+ events).

    It seems to me to be a PR call. They can sense the mob getting out their pitchforks and torches and want to head off some of the moral panic-stoking negative press from the tabloids around the privacy invading potential of glass (“OMG!! They’ll take pictures of my junk in the bathroom!! Glassholes are perverts!!)

  • Mirco Romanato

    The main problem, IMHO, is how faulty are these facial recognition systems.
    It would suck big time to walk down the street and be mis-identified with some child-molester or wrongly be included in some black list.
    Surely Google do not want invite litigation “at this time”.

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