Ms. Smith, a Networkworld blogger, wrote an article today about Google is developing a Smartphone application that will identity faces in photographs and then will link the photo to personal information of the subject.
Everyone knows that Google mines the interwebs collecting and indexing any information it can get its hands on. This gargantuan collection of data most certainly includes photos and other personal information on almost all of us.
Imagine walking down the street one day, and someone snaps a photo of you – without your knowledge or consent. Now imagine that same person using Google’s app to not only find out who you are but also where you live, work or other information gleaned from Google’s databases. Any tidbit of information that you have ever posted on social networking profile or other public website is fair game for Google and now your potential stalkers.
Hartmut Neven, Google’s engineer for image-recognition development stated the following: “Google plans to introduce a mobile application that would allow users to snap pictures of people’s faces in order to access their personal information.” Straight, to the point and in your face!
Neven goes on to say, “Identifying faces using pages publicly available on the internet is technically feasible.”
Due to the privacy problems that Google has encountered this year, they intend on requiring users to opt in to the software via a check box. Checking the box gives Google the right to identify you in the software application.
Google also backtracked by issuing a blog post stating that Neven’s remarks showed “hypothetical” uses of the application.
Privacy advocates and people with just good ole common sense can see the dangers and potential abuses of such an application. Just because Google can – doesn’t mean they should!