Google won't dabble in facial recognition search system

Eric Schmidt said the accuracy of facial recognition technology is 'very concerning'

Google will not be building a facial recognition search system, even though facial recognition technology is quickly advancing. According to The Telegraph, Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, believes the "surprising accuracy" of facial recognition technology is "very concerning."

According to Schmidt, who spoke at Google's Big Tent conference in London, a database using facial recognition software is "unlikely" to be a service that Google will create. Schmidt did suggest that, while Google may not build a facial recognition search system, "some company, by the way, is going to cross that line."

That last comment may have been a subtle stab at Facebook, which recently started using facial recognition technology as a means of helping its users tag photos. I wouldn't be surprised, considering Facebook was recently caught attempting a smear campaign against Google (ironically, the campaign was about Google's alleged violation of user privacy).

Google-Facebook catfights aside, Schmidt's concern about facial recognition is a relief (even though it's really hard not to laugh when anyone from Google talks about privacy). A facial recognition search system would be extremely troubling, so it's good to hear the largest search provider is at least sort of on our side.

And this isn't the first time a Google official has confirmed that the company thinks face recognition is kind of creepy; in April, Google announced that it had created a facial recognition app, but would not be releasing it because of privacy concerns. I'm actually starting to believe that Google does care about user privacy.

While this is good news from Google, Facebook is actually better poised to create and release an accurate facial recognition search system -- and nobody from Facebook has stepped forward to say they will not do it. After all, Facebook is sitting on a huge, 600,000,000-member database of people's faces.

Follow Sarah on Twitter (@geeklil) or on Facebook

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags searchGooglesecurityinternetsearch enginesprivacyFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?