Before few months, Google had sent its team to various US city streets along with $5 gift cards. At the time, the company aimed to collect facial data from deploying an independent version of Face ID on Pixel 4. In other words, the data collection could have assisted in enhancing the face unlock system of the smartphone. But, the latest news has unveiled another mystery of the effort. Reportedly, Google aimed at people of color, including college students and people without homes. Even more, the volunteers did not know they are being captured. Notably, the tech giant wanted to gather data on people from various backgrounds so that the technology could identify a broad range of facial features and skin tones.
The people gathering the information functioned as the temporary, vendor, and contractors (TVCs). The search engine giant had partnered with Randstad, the staffing agency, for the effort. The temp workers claim they got training to be pushy and lie to people about what was happening. Even more, the temporary workers of Google were sent to various American colleges, and Atlanta to find people living on streets. Reportedly, the contractors were also told to confuse people by saying that it is part of a selfie game. Whereas, Google asserts that participants have signed an agreement permitting for the use of their data.
Thus it has raised controversies whether the volunteers were aware of the data collection and its use, or not. As per a Google representative, it is a serious matter for the company, and it is probing it. Google says the claims concerning truthfulness and agreement are against its needs for volunteer research studies and training. The spokesperson noted they routinely perform volunteer research studies. Although it is not the first time, Google is facing criticism for its efforts. Before this, the tech giant’s algorithms have been slammed for racial profiling. Even more, Google is not the first company to collect facial recognition data. Before this, Apple has gathered such data before launching its Face ID feature. The dispute has arrived two weeks before Google’s anticipated launch of new devices and hardware, including Pixel 4. In the end, it is a concerning aspect for the tech giant, which might affect its growth.