Research that Allegedly scanned Homeless people Suspended by Google :- According to the reports, Google is going to shut down its field research program that offered subjects USD 5 gift certificate in exchange for a scan of their face.
Research that Allegedly scanned Homeless people Suspended by Google
Reportedly, the decision comes after it had been found that one Google contracting agency was targeting homeless people in Atlanta and tricking college students into participating.
Earlier, the idea behind the research was to ensure the upcoming Pixel 4’s Face Unlock feature that would recognise a diverse array of faces and prevent it from being biased towards people of colour.
Reportedly, through this project, the search engine wanted people’s faces, particularly those with darker skin in a bid to build a massively diverse database it could use for the biometric features on its upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone.
People working for the project, however, reportedly said that Google employed questionable and misleading methods for the project, dispatching teams to target homeless people, along with students on college campuses around the country.
A third party employment firm called Randstad allegedly paid the workers, who claimed they were instructed to go after people of color, conceal the fact that they were recording people’s faces, and even lie to maximize their data collection.
A contractor also said that they were instructed to find homeless people and university students because they are likely the ones who would be attracted to the $5 gift cards.
Google said that it was collecting data through field research to build a facial recognition with robust security and performance, but after the backlash, it suspended the controversial project.
A Google spokesperson said, “We’re taking these claims seriously and investigating them. The allegations regarding truthfulness and consent are in violation of our requirements for volunteer research studies and the training that we provided.”
Google said that it instructed its contractors to be truthful and transparent with volunteers in the study and that they should obtain consent and ensure the people they interview are aware of why Google was collecting the data.