[Hoax Alert]: Looks like we’ve been had, folks. (For the facial recognition part of this story, anyway.) Google has chimed in to let folks know that the story – originally published by CNN – is bogus. While they didn’t completely deny that they’re working on something like this, they state that the information presented by CNN is purely speculative.
In fact, we are NOT “introducing a mobile application” (as the CNN piece claims) and as we’ve said for over a year, we would NOT add face recognition to any app like Goggles unless there was a strong privacy model in place. A number of items “reported” in the story, such as a potential app connecting phone numbers, email addresses and other information with a person’s face, are purely speculative and are inventions of the reporter.
Furthermore, Google will be required to change their service from allowing a user to opt out to requiring them to opt-in to certain features before they can use them. It’s a welcome change that should make a lot of folks happy who feel they were violated in the first place.
One of those new services you’ll soon have to opt-in to is a facial recognition engine that has become known as “Google Goggles for people”. It’s simple, you snap or select a photo of someone’s face and Google will search the world wide web trying to match the image up with profile pages on social networking sites that person may be a member of.
It’ll return information such as name and place of birth among other things. It’s a very interesting concept on paper but I have to see this thing in action before getting excited about it. I know Facebook has some fairly-reliable technology to automatically tag your friends in pictures you upload, but that doesn’t always work too well itself. [via ReadWriteWeb]