The visual search service Google Goggles took off last week
and for the time being, the range of objects that can be recognized is limited to books, sightseeing spots, logos, business cards, bar-codes and text. It turns out, however, that the Internet giant has already developed the relevant face recognition technology, but it´s functionality has not been added to Google Goggles yet, since this may constitute a serious breach of human rights. For an instance, everyone would be able to find out what online services you´ve uploaded your pictures on by just taking a snapshot of you in the street or using one of your pictures found on the Internet with the Goggles service. Google intends to poll people and take legal advise on the possible integration of their face recognition technology into the visual search service, but it seems the company plans to proceed carefully, since there is no deadline for their final decision. The way we see it, it´s quite likely that the service will become available to governmental authorities only.
Different problems relating to breaches of human rights have made a stir recently and some of them led to changes in Facebook that are considered controversial by many. We do hope that Google takes the right decision so as people can feel safe that their personal data is secured from risks and this does not necessarily mean the end of the visual search service. Please, take a look at our review of the first version of Google Goggles, it´s available here