Google’s Goggles, which allows for snapshots of objects for easy identification.
Before someone can be identified by the software, an individual would have to give Google permission to access their personal information before being able to be identified by the software, according to Hartmut Neven, Google’s engineering director for the software.
“We recognize that Google has to be extra careful when it comes to these [privacy] issues,” Neven told CNN in an exclusive interview. “Face recognition we will bring out once we have acceptable privacy models in place.”
But according to Google, since privacy does play a huge factor in the development of the program, they said they don’t plan on releasing an app with such features. It’s being said they were only giving CNN theories of an app that could use this technology, contrary to CNN’s claims that the app was being released soon.
Google has dealt with issues of violating users’ privacy in the past, such as when its Buzz social-networking service published the names of people with whom Gmail users regularly communicated with. The company agreed to an $8.5 million grievance settlement.
“I think we are taking a sort of cautious route with this,” said a Google spokesman. “It’s a sensitive area, and it’s kind of a subjective call on how you would do it.”
Although Google denies these claims, CNN is sticking to its story.
“Google’s claims do not fit the facts of the situation,” a CNN spokesperson said. “This interview was prearranged – on the record – and staffed by a Google PR rep, who raised no objections at the time and did not deny what the engineer said. Additionally, we have an audio recording of the interview, as does Google. We stand firmly behind Mark’s reporting.”