“Face Data” Collected by Google?

By:  |  Category: Blog, Cloud Friday, September 13th, 2019  |  No Comments
face data

It’s no big secret that facial recognition software exits, or that it’s used to catch bad guys like we see in the big Hollywood movies. But what about when it’s used by a smart-home device to activate YOUR account, even if the device is shared by other people in your home?

Face Match

This new technology used by Google is called Face Match, and as Cnet says, “It’s always watching.”  

The Google Nest Hub Max can be activated using its front-facing camera that also doubles as its security feature. It can “show you photos, texts, calendar details and so on when it recognizes your face.”

Long gone are the days of having to press your finger up to your device for access to your information.

The Nest Hub Max can identify which household member is using it, and because it supports multiple user profiles, it lets a user create a “face model” to be their password. It’s similar to Android and Apple’s facial recognition, or Google, Apple, and Facebook photos used to identify friends and family. This however, is the first device of its kind to have an “always-on” feature, others require a trigger or button to be pressed first. Always-on means the device is constantly scanning data received from the camera for recognizable faces.

Facial recognition is used by other companies and other devices, but the process of how this information is collected, stored, and used is concerning. Too many times have we been let down by a data breach and woops… there goes another large chunk of our personal information.

According to Google, we don’t need to worry.

Face profiles are collected and stored on the device itself, and only “occasionally” is any data moved to the cloud to “improve product experience.” Google is adamant that once the information in processed, it’s deleted from the cloud. We hope. But chances are if your face has been scanned by any other smart device, it’s in the cloud already.

If you’re one that can’t stand the idea of a perpetual face scan every time you enter your kitchen there is a physical switch in the back to disable the feature (and the camera entirely), you could also delete your profile and turn off the Face Match in settings, or just don’t set up a profile to begin with.

One way or another, the future will contain a vast record of unflatteringly angled photos from our smart phone or home device.

If you need assistance with Managed IT Services give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 or contact us at [email protected]

Sources: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/google-collects-face-data-now-what-it-means-and-how-to-opt-out/

Image Source: https://www.canva.com/design/DADlMWhBMAY/G4-8raOIAaBAHau0vbZgCg/edit?category=tACFajEYUAM

–Emmy Seigler

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