Feeds

Creepy photo-tagging tech slotted into Google+

'Find my face' feature lands

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Eric Schmidt may have been creeped out by the idea of using huge facial databases to identify individuals online, but that hasn't stopped Google from debuting its own version of the technology.

Google+, Mountain View's own take on social networking, is now loaded with a photo-tagging and "find my face" feature that punters must opt-in to use.

By default, the Chocolate Factory has switched off the "find my face in photos and prompt people I know to tag me" option, however, as soon as a user clicks on a photograph Google+ politely asks that individual to consider enabling the feature.

It also points out the user has total control over the "find my face" option.

In July, Google bought facial recognition outfit pittpatt, at which point it was clear that the company would eventually add a photo-tagging feature to Google+.

However, it's a move that appears to fly in the, er, face of Google chairman Schmidt, who in May this year indicated that the world's largest ad broker had no intention whatsoever of using such creepy tech in the firm's products.

But then, we suppose, seven months is a long time in the online world. Google has been closely watching the fallout from Facebook's botched attempt at stealthily folding facial recognition tech into its users' accounts. And it now better understands the softly softly catchy monkey approach is better than an iron fist when it comes to debuting features in Google+.

The company spectacularly failed to win over privacy advocates when it rolled out the nearly defunct Buzz, which was bolted onto Gmail accounts without first asking for permission from that particular userbase.

This year has proved extremely embarrassing for both Facebook and Google when it comes to butter-fingered handling of data online. The pair, now humiliatingly subjected to bi-annual privacy audits for the next 20 years in the US, are attempting to regain trust from their respective users.

It's unlikely that this means Facebook or Google will do less evil with the data they farm come 2012. But it does mean the companies are much more under the spotlight when it comes to herding identities on the interwebulator.

Now it's a question of being a little more creative with how to best use the tech stored in their gun rooms. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.