Google plans to introduce a mobile application that would allow users to snap pictures of people’s faces in order to access their personal information, a director for the project said this week, according to CNN.
In order to be identified by the software, people would have to check a box agreeing to give Google permission to access their pictures and profile information, said Hartmut Neven, the Google engineering director for image-recognition development.
Profiles might include a name, phone number and e-mail address.
“We recognize that Google has to be extra careful when it comes to these [privacy] issues,” Neven told CNN in an exclusive interview. Before the app launches, Google plans to have acceptable privacy models in place, he said.
“People are asking for it all the time, but as an established company like Google, you have to be way more conservative than a little startup that has nothing to lose,” said Neven, whose company Neven Vision was acquired by Google in 2006. “Technically, we can pretty much do all of these things.”
In 2009, Google acquired a company called Like.com, which specialized in searching product images but also did work in interpreting pictures of people. Google has also filed for patents in the area of facial recognition.