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Feb 25, 2011

0 Google Goggles: Privacy Invasion Possibilities?

Google Goggles can recognize celebrities and famous people by photo search, then display results like any textual input. What happens when ordinary people can be looked up by a simple image? The ramifications of such a possibly is starling.

For instance, imagine this if you will: A stalker wants to find out more information about a victim, he simply snaps a picture, Google search finds all the search related data connected to her, and he now knows all the data she's ever entered online connected to those results (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc...).

Imagine again if you will: Someone wants a new identity, they input their image and the results are populated with their doppelgangers, now they have access to information about their victims and their quest has been greatly reduced (time wise).

Of course, privacy advocates will step in, file lawsuits and society will become insensitive or overly sensitive to the occurrence of such technology: become more aware and observant to such an emergence and questions about their freedom. Some may say that the information is publicly accessible and they inputted it to their own detriment; That they could simply delete the data or not have included it in the first place. Some may point out the positive effects of such technology: finding lost children, lost love ones, people who disappeared- who have posted images online. Even so, these outcomes can be accomplished without diminishing our privacy. And I say, everything can be justified and legitimized, but the lost can never be regained as it was, and the lost will take even more effort to replace.

Of course this may never come to past, Google could never include photo searches for ordinary people, or people may not care due to information already being public (limited to what they inputed), or that they could- simply not post such information in the first place and be alright. But, such a future is scary and worth a second thought.