Tech Horror Story: Google’s controversial facial recognition research

If you were at the airport security entering the US or the UK and were asked to give a facial scan to enter you would gladly do it. If you were asked by your phone to enter your facial recognition for a password, again you would gladly do it. 

But have you wondered where does all this biometric information go after you have signed up for it to be used after clicking on the I agree check-box in the terms and condition section. 

Concerns are now being raised that all the information is vulnerable to being exploited by big private companies to be used for their own commercial interests and a creepy Big Boss 24*7 surveillance. 

Tech giant Google has been running a facial research program to develop its latest android phone Pixel 4. And 2 weeks ahead of the phone's debut reports have come out the facial recognition program is dubious and is targeting g the homeless community in Atlanta (especially people with dark skin) as well as a bunch of misled college students. 

Google is offering them a 5 thousand gift certificate in exchange for a simple facial scan. As per a news report in a US newspaper, the program run by google is dubious and has many further interests rather than developing a robust security system. 

After a detailed investigation of the project by authorities, google has immediately suspended the program and opened up an internal investigation. “We are taking these claims seriously and investigating them. The allegations regarding the truthfulness and consent are violations of our requirements for volunteer research studies and the training we provided.”

Even though the program has been put to a temporary halt it has not been suspended for good. The matter is being looked into by the company or so it claims and all the associated contractors in the research will keep getting paid. 

This unsettling news of a trusted tech giant fiddling with too much personal information about us surely does make us wonder about our safety in the dark cyber world we have created.  The Black Mirror times are certainly here. 

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Taniya Tikoo

Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder at ObserveNow. She loves Rumi, traveling, and music. A Mountain girl using the power of words to change the world.

I dream to wake up to a world where I see a thriving Kashmir, a free Palestine and a Free Tibet 

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