Andrew Bosworth AKA Boz, advertising expert for Facebook, will give a lecture on March 3, 2017 at the marketing fair Online Marketing Rockstars in Hamburg. Photo: Christian Charisius / dpa | Worldwide usage (Photo by Christian Charisius / Image alliance via Getty Images)
Christian Charisius | Image Alliance | Getty Images
Facebook’s hardware director on Thursday confirmed a report the company is “looking into” integrating facial recognition technology into its upcoming smart glasses devices, but only if people want it.
Andrew “Boz” Bosworth confirmed the report in a video that was published on his Instagram account on Thursday evening during a question and answer session with his followers.
When asked if “Facebook is considering offering facial recognition on its smart glasses products?” Bosworth said, “We’ll look into this.”
“It really is a debate that we need to have with the public,” added Bosworth. “If people don’t want this technology, we don’t have to deliver it. The product will be fine either way. There are some nice use cases if it’s something people are familiar with.”
The comments come after BuzzFeed reported Thursday that the hardware manager said Facebook weighed the legal implications of such technology during an internal corporate meeting.
Bosworth noted that there are ethical concerns about the numerous ways in which facial recognition and constantly-on cameras and microphones could be misused.
“All the ways in which they can be abused, especially for marginalized communities through authority structures,” said Bosworth. “How can we prevent this? And is it enough?”
During the Q&A on Instagram, Bosworth reiterated that Facebook is on track to launch its smart glasses product sometime in 2021 in partnership with Luxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban.
“We’re working hard with our partner Luxottica to make sure the form factor is right, that the functionality is good, and that it goes well together,” he said.