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Google throws your privacy to the wind with new facial recognition tech

George Orwell is rolling in his grave…

We as Americans will need to come to terms with just how much power we’ve given companies such as Google…and quickly.

Google skyrocketed to prominence out of the dotcom boom of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, growing extraordinarily thanks to their complete dominance of the online space and their unwavering commitment to technological development.  Not only have they revolutionized the way that we find information online, but they’ve also inserted themselves into our daily lives with surgical precision.  We use their products to watch television, navigate the nation, and protect our homes.

But there is a dark side to this meteoric rise in Google’s power – namely that our legislative bodies have fallen far behind in regulating the tech giant.

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This has allowed the internet leviathan to push ethical boundaries to their limits, especially in the realm of privacy.

Google Home and Nest Hub gadgets already feature microphones that are always listening for the words that wake up the Assistant (“OK, Google” or “Hey, Google”). Now, the search giant’s newest gadget for your home, the Nest Hub Max smart display, adds in a camera that’s always watching for a familiar face.

Google calls the feature Face Match, and it uses facial recognition technology to remember what you look like. After that, you can tap on the screen to see personalized bits of data like calendar appointments and Google Duo messages whenever it recognizes you.

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The Nest Hub Max isn’t the first product to bring facial recognition technology — and the legal and ethical considerations that come with it — into people’s homes. Smart phones have been using the technology to let us unlock our devices and authorize purchases for years, and a growing number of smart home gadgets that use cameras are putting it to use, too, including Google’s own Nest Hello video doorbell.

This is precisely the sort of thing that George Orwell warned us about in his seminal work 1984, with Google accurately and eerily representing the “Big Brother” boogeyman.

 

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