You meet someone in the restaurant and want to know his/her personal profile. You don’t even have to ask him. Just take your mobile phone and snap a picture of his/her face and Google will give you the details.
Well, this could be a reality in the near future. Google plans to introduce a mobile applications that would do just that. Users can snap pictures of people’s faces in order to access their personal information. However, to be identified by the software, people should give Google permission to access their pictures and access/reveal their profile information. Profiles might include name, phone number and email address.
Presumably, Google has had the technical capability to implement an application of this type for years. The biggest concerns that Google has in developing technology like these is regarding the privacy of people. Already, Google has its share of privacy issues with products like Buzz, Street View, etc.
Google also is concerned about the legal implications of facial recognition. Even during trials among its own employees, Google has taken steps to ensure testers have explicitly agreed on record to try out the service.
Google already uses face recognition in Picasa, Google’s photo-sharing service, helping the software identify friends and family members in your computer’s photo library.
Google acknowledges the nefarious ways someone could leverage facial-recognition technology. Imagine a guy takes a picture of a woman in a bar and then he knows her address just because somewhere on the Web there is an association of her address with her photo.
It is a delicate ground and Google has to tread cautiously.