Gmail Pictures Used For Face Recognition?

Gmail cropped pictureThe Google Operating System blog reports that when uploading pictures for your contacts, Gmail will ask you to crop the picture, to separate the face of the person. The result? Google has a database of multiple images for a lot of people, along with their names, e-mail addresses, street addresses, phone numbers, and whatever else contact information you include.

Combined with Riya, where users have upoaded over 7 million personal photos to Riya’s servers and tagged and labeled the subject’s faces to be searchable via Riya’s facial recognition technology, we are creeping closer and closer to a user-created, user-supported, and user-identified database of images of the population. The increased aggregation and tagging of my image has value externalities that have yet to be fully theorized. As I’ve warned before:

Sure, it would be great if I could easily search for pictures of me on the web, but do I want others to be able to do that as well? Could this provide a useful tool for stalkers looking for a particular person? Abusive partners trying to track down their victim? (Note that Riya also uploads and indexes all the metadata related to your photos, including the date and time is was taken, when it was uploaded, etc. Users can also tag and search photos based on location). …there are externalities once all of the images of our daily lives (and their related metadata) are uploaded to the Internet, indexed, searchable, and accessible to all.

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