This morning I read the CNN story that said Google was finally going to incorporate facial recognition technology into its Goggles app or another mobile application. I then wrote an opinion piece that argued Google was courting a major privacy backlash, despite seeming to have privacy controls worked out in the article.
Thereafter I was contacted by Google, which said the story was pure conjecture and completely wrong. Google told me it was based on facts and statements that were extrapolated out of context by the CNN reporter.
Google was getting a retraction from CNN and asked if I would update and clarify my article based on the new information. I did. I rewrote the story.
Here’s where it gets strange and interesting. I just got a statement from CNN saying that Google was full of it:
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.
Recorded interview. On the record. Google PR person in the room.
Clearly the technology exists; Google’s not denying that. The question is whether the app or update to Goggles is about to be released.
He said/she said: where’s the truth? I guess we’ll find out if Google does release such a capability in the near future.
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