Senator Al Franken wants to limit facial recognition in Google Glass app

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Senator Al Franken (D-MN) believes that there should be limits to facial recognition software that is available for Google Glass.

The app that sparked these concerns is NameTag, which can scan people’s faces and pull up information on them if they also have the app — similar to the Refresh app we talked about earlier.

“Unlike other biometric identifiers such as iris scans and fingerprints, facial recognition is designed to operate at a distance, without the knowledge or consent of the person being identified,” Franken wrote in an open letter.

“Individuals cannot reasonably prevent themselves from being identified by cameras that could be anywhere — on a lamppost across the street, attached to an unmanned aerial vehicle, or, now, integrated into the eyewear of a stranger.,” he added.

Despite the fact that Google currently has a ban on facial recognition software, the app is currently in beta and on its site they claim that “NameTag can spot a face using Google Glass’ camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.”

You can definitely see how the Senator would feel that this isn’t the best technology. Aside from using information from social media platforms, the developers also believe it can be a tool to help identify former criminals, especially those on the National Sex Offender Registry.

I definitely don’t have a problem with that last application, and if the app were only designed to recognize a sex offender’s face, that would be fine. I can definitely see this being used for applications that aren’t so morally sound though.

[via The Verge, image via tedeytan’s flickr]

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