June 3, 2013
Google Glass is currently being trialled by ‘Explorers’ as the company tries to perfect it for a commercial launch and bids to understand public concerns.
In an announcement on Glass’s Google+ page, the company said, “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.”
Glass features a screen positioned just above the user’s right eye, as well as a camera and a microphone. Some privacy groups have raised concerns that it could covertly record video and take pictures of people who have not given their consent. Others, however, have proposed applications that make use of existing facial recognition technology so that Glass could, for instance, automatically locate a wearer’s friends in a crowd.