Google Seeks to Establish Facial Recognition in Homes

September 16, 2019

With opposition growing to facial recognition, Google has decided instead to build facial recognition into Nest Hub Max, an "always on" device intended for use in the home. Google's "face match" constantly targets the facial images of each person in the household. Any interaction with the Google device is added to the secret user profile Google maintains for ad targeting. In 2014, EPIC filed a complaint with the FTC and said the "Commission clearly failed to address the significant privacy concerns presented in the Google acquisition of Nest," a related device that enabled surveillance in the home. EPIC later asked the Federal Trade Commission to require Google to spin-off Nest and to disgorge the data obtained from Nest users. A 2017 complaint to the Consumer Product Safety Commission from EPIC and consumer organizations pointed out that the "touchpad on the Google device is permanently set to 'on' so that it records all conversations without a consumer's knowledge or consent."

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