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Of course Facebook is considering facial recognition for its smart glasses

To the surprise of no one.

facebook logo on smartphone screen
Image: Unsplash

Facebook has been working on its smart glasses for some time now, but according to various sources from within the company, the smart glasses project is in its late stages, and it might be available to the public as early as 2021.

To that end, Facebook already partnered with Ray-Ban and the Luxottica Group. Facebook aims to rival similar products from both Amazon and Snapchat with its smart glasses.

However, it seems that the leading people at Facebook are not sure about one feature that it is exploring. The decision-makers are weighing in on the idea of bringing facial recognition to the wearable.

Facial recognition has always been a hot topic as it touches on human rights and opens the door to potential illicit actions by individuals, companies, and even governments. Human rights advocacy groups regularly criticize public surveillance cameras with facial recognition. In fact, there have been several high-profile cases involving the use of this technology. 

Facial technology also includes a lot of data aggregation, for which Facebook has been heavily scrutinized in the past years. In 2018, Facebook had to endure the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Whereas last year it was sued by Illinois users for use of their biometric data to tag people on Facebook. The lawsuit cost Facebook a staggering $650 million.  

Because of all that and other possible implications, the top people at Facebook are hesitant to use facial recognition in their upcoming wearable devices. 

On the other side of the spectrum, facial recognition can be a quite cool feature. Users can use it to identify their social media friends if they can’t remember their names. Some even suggest that facial recognition can be of immense help to people suffering from a neurological condition called prosopagnosia, where people have a difficult time recognizing the faces of people they already know.

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