Former Google CEO—and current Google evangelist—Eric Schmidt made his thoughts on facial recognition very clear yesterday, saying it was “very concerning,” and that Google wouldn’t dream of a database like that. Except they did! In dreamy patent form.
There had already been a social-networking based facial recognition Google patent on the books that surfaced in February. And today the USPTO coughed up another Google plot to automagically identify the faces of famous people to aid with image searches.
A patent is, of course, just a patent, and lots (most?) of the ideas that companies plant legal flags in never come to fruition. But at some point in the last few years—when Schmidt was calling the shots—Google put significant time and effort into knowing us by our noses. Which is fine! What’s more very concerning is that they’re now acting like the’d never stoop so low. [Atlantic Wire]