Google calls out CNN, claims Facial Recognition story is bogus

March 31, 2011

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Earlier today we posted a small story regarding a new Mobile application being made by Google that will do a little facial recognition and then send the user info such as contact information, name, email address and more. This was simply a story we saw and thought was interesting on CNN. Apparently this story was a complete fabrication and very inaccurate. Google calls out CNN, says story about facial recognition app is not only inaccurate, but completely bogus.

Google reached out to us here at Android Community and our sister site Slashgear shortly after the article went live. Mentioning what we just said above about it being highly inaccurate. Here's what they had to say:

We are NOT "introducing a mobile application" (as the CNN piece claims) and as we've said for over a year, we would NOT add face recognition to any app like Goggles unless there was a strong privacy model in place. A number of items “reported” in the story, such as a potential app connecting phone numbers, email addresses and other information with a person’s face, are purely speculative and are inventions of the reporter.

This is a little disappointing to see CNN report such a story with not much to go by. We here at AC strive to report anything interesting to our readers, while keeping things fresh and accurate. Hopefully we will hear back from Google, as well as CNN on this entire thing.

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  • Jennifer Martin

    Google’s claims do not fit the facts of the situation. 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.

    • Anonymous

      Even if that’s true, CNN should have asked in the interview what’s changed between 2009, when google said they wouldn’t go ahead with this project, and now. That should also be in the article.
      Either CNN made it up, or they failed in their research.

  • As we approach release of this “face recognition” feature I’m really curious on the subject. What I think is funny is that if we are given the hardware to do this – what stops some geek (or a team of them) to designing an app to do facial recognition? We already saw the TAT (I believe that’s the name of the Swedish co that developed Recognize) app that could recognize and collect online info… I personally think it’s really cool… and I think SOMEONE will develop it – will it be hackers? or will it be a public company? That’s the thing about android… because it’s so open, what we can do with it is really up to the programming community… It seems easy in my mind and I’m sure someone could work it out to be much more efficient: Snap a picture of the person (frontal and side view), build a facebook bot to go through all the names and maybe narrow it down by location and start scanning… or use picasa or w/e… possibilities are endless imo and don’t seem that far out of reach. If Google is concerned about “liabilities” with privacy issues… well they have given us and plan on giving us more hardware…