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Technology & Innovation

Google Opposes Face Recognition Database

Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, has said that the search giant would not build a database capable of recognising individual faces even though it is increasingly possible.

What’s the Latest Development?

At Google’s recent Big Tent event in London, where the company said it would oppose anti-piracy legislation under consideration in the U.S. and U.K., the Internet giant’s C.E.O. Eric Schmidt said that he opposes the creation of facial recognition databases even though the technology is becoming more and more possible. “Mr Schmidt indicated that, for him, a database utilising facial recognition advances was ‘unlikely’ to be a service that Google would create.” He referred to the creation of such a database as “crossing the creepy line”. It is a line Schmidt thinks will inevitably be crossed by another company.

What’s the Big Idea?

Google continues, in its way, to defend a more open Internet, one in which users are free to make decisions about their own data and to be free from the undue influence of government and private enterprise alike. Schmidt said that while government regulation of the Internet may be well intentioned, legislation is often written too broadly. “Google has already created a service called Dashboard, which permits users to see and delete all the information Google holds on them. Mr Schmidt said that he hoped to make such utilities more friendly, and that there were several projects working on making the legalistic terms and conditions for services easier for users to interpret.”


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