iPhone Facial Recognition App: Would You Opt In?

iPhone facial recognition

Google is reportedly working on a facial recognition app that would let you snap a photo of someone with your iPhone or other smartphone and identify them — including their name, phone number, email address and other personal information. While Google says they will not debut a facial recognition app until acceptable privacy controls are in place, the technology is cause for concern nevertheless.

Google says it will require users to opt in before their photos can be identified by the facial recognition app, but can we trust the search engine giant to protect our privacy? Not according to Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., who warns that our privacy rights “are being Facebooked, spammed and texted down to nothing.”

… in the face of concerns about intrusion, security and privacy, Google says, in effect: Trust us. Which raises an obvious question: Why? – Leonard Pitts, Jr. in Privacy: There’s no app for that

I, too, worry about the privacy issues that an iPhone facial recognition app would pose. Do we want to live in a world where there is no longer a need to introduce ourselves, because the people we encounter have already identified us with a smartphone app?

The advent of iPhone facial recognition technology may be closer than we think. Apple’s iPhoto already has a Faces feature that is fairly skilled at identifying friends in your photo albums, and the App Store has several iPhone apps with rudimentary facial recognition capabilities.

What do you think? Would an iPhone facial recognition app creep you out? Or is this a useful application of technology? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.