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Meet the creepiest Google Glass app ever created [updated]

Updated Feb 5th, 2014 3:37PM EST
Google Glass Facial Recognition App

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We’ve seen a lot of potentially creepy uses for Google Glass but none of them have anything on what the crew at NameTag have been working on. As Phandroid’s Quentyn Kennemer points out, NameTag uses facial recognition technology to search for someone’s face anywhere it can find it on the web and give you as much information about them as it can find. This means that if you look at someone’s face, NameTag will crawl through Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and other social media to tell you absolutely everything you might want to know about them, including their job, their interests and their relationship status. The app even yanks out any information on you from public records databases and will let people know if you have any sort of criminal background.

What makes this truly disturbing, says Kennemer, is that everyone who has any sort of profile online will have their information tossed into NameTag’s database and that they have to specifically opt out to avoid being added to it.

“It should be up to that person whether or not they want to make their details known to strangers who happen to be wearing Google Glass and using this app,” he writes. “I know I’m not necessarily interested in talking to and meeting every single person I come across while I’m out and about. If they need to know more about me for whatever reason, they can come up to me, introduce themselves, and ask like normal human beings are supposed to.”

Ah, but where’s the fun in that? Social customs are so 20th century!

Of course, there is some good news in all this: Apparently the app doesn’t even work very well. Fellow Phandroid contributor and Google Glass enthusiast Derek Ross says that the app has misidentified most of the people he’s tried it on as sex offenders.

UPDATE: Google checks in to say that because it already has a ban on facial recognition applications, there’s no way that this app would ever get widespread distribution. So this hopefully means we won’t have to worry too much about Glass users misidentifying us as sex offenders when the headset gets released to a wider audience.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.