Google Confirms Paying People $5 to Scan Their Face for Pixel 4 Face Unlock Feature

Google confirmed it conducted "field research" to collect face-scanning data in order to improve its algorithms.

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Google Confirms Paying People $5 to Scan Their Face for Pixel 4 Face Unlock Feature

Photo Credit: Twitter/ Google

Highlights
  • Google conducted "field research" to collect face-scanning data
  • Its employees roamed the streets offering $5 gift certificates
  • Our goal is to build the feature with robust security: Google

At a time when face recognition technology is in the thick of controversies, Google paid people $5 in exchange for a facial scan to build an accurate face unlock feature for the upcoming Pixel 4.

Google employees roamed the streets in the US, offering $5 (roughly Rs. 340) gift certificates in exchange for a facial scan, The Verge reported on Monday.

Google confirmed it conducted "field research" to collect face-scanning data in order to improve its algorithms. This wasn't the first report of Google paying people on the street for their face data, with several reports emerging last week. The latest report does have a confirmation however, and is timed to be alongside the announcement that the Pixel 4 indeed features Face Unlock.

"Our goal is to build the feature with robust security and performance. We are also building it with inclusiveness in mind, so as many people as possible can benefit," a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.

"Google is collecting infrared, colour and depth data from each face along with time, ambient light level, and some related 'task' information," said the report. The face data will be kept for 18 months.

Separately, Google on Monday confirmed the Google Pixel 4 would feature Soli radar based Face Unlock and Motion Sense gesture systems.

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are slated to release in October. Likely to feature 6GB RAM, the Pixel 4 phones would feature taller displays.

The Mountain View company has confirmed the Pixel 4 device would come with a square camera module at the back, which would house a dual rear camera setup while until now all Pixel models only had a single camera sensor at the back. The smartphones can be expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and run the upcoming Android Q operating system (OS).

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