We’ve been telling you recently about face recognition apps due to be released for Google Glass and now it seems like Google is not going to approve them due to privacy concerns.
The Project Glass team just on Google+ talking about privacy concerns related to face recognition. And it seems like they are not going to approve them until they have strong privacy protections in places. Unfortunately for developers and enthusiasts, Google didn’t offer much information about this, so we don’t know when they will manage to implement the terms in order to approve those kind of apps.
The Google Glass developer policies have also been updated and now specify that face recognition apps are banned. Along with this, every time Google Glass takes a picture or records a video, the light must be on, so you cannot take spy shots.
There have been many privacy concerns related to Google Glass and it seems like the company is trying to make everyone happy by setting up some clear rules of use that should protect the privacy of people around the Glass user. After the buzz that’s been recently, we might even see some laws regarded to wearable devices featuring a camera, considering that Google Glass hasn’t even been released officially and it’s already banned in multiple locations.
Some congressmen already contacted Google to discuss about Glass and they were especially interested in privacy, asking if the device can really recognize a person by only taking a photo. This question has been answered by Google, as we can see, but we can’t know what the government will think about it and they might prefer to setup law-based restrictions too. This would allow them to deal with those who break the law, while Google can’t do anything else than ban the app from their market.
While Google managed to please those concerned about privacy, there’s a catch. Google Glass comes unlocked, so everyone can root the device and install apps from outside the market. Google even invites developers to hack the device in order to do cool things with it, which is pretty good, because everyone loves an open environment. This means that banned apps can still be installed on Glass, but can’t be found on Google’s own app market.
There are still a lot of questions left unanswered about Google Glass, but we will definitely find out more about it soon, once it gets the official release. Until then, Google has to fix all the potential issues both with the devices and the privacy laws. Personally I’m confident they will succeed, because it’s an amazing device all-in-all and those are just some small issues.