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Google Testing Facial Recognition-Based Security System for Offices

Google is reportedly testing a facial recognition-based security system at one of its offices.

The company is using the technology to spot unauthorized visitors and keep them from entering the office, CNBC reported Wednesday (June 26).

“For many years our security team has been testing and implementing new systems and protections to help keep our people and spaces as safe as possible,” a Google spokesperson said in the report.

In the company’s test of facial recognition technology includes interior security cameras that collect facial data and compare it to images from employee badges to spot any unauthorized visitors, according to the report.

In addition, Google’s Security and Resilience Services (GSRS) team will use the data to spot people who are known to pose a security risk, the report said.

People entering the building are not allowed to opt out of the facial screening, per the report. The data is not stored.

The test of this technology comes at a time when Google is adding artificial intelligence (AI) across its product line, and when facial recognition technology has been raising concerns about privacy, according to the report.

Other tech companies have also faced concerns centered on this technology. Amazon, Microsoft and IBM have placed restrictions on the sale of their facial recognition technology to police, and Amazon was once questioned by U.S. senators about its use of AI-equipped cameras in its delivery vans, the report said.

Biometrics like facial recognition offer potential benefits such as enhanced security and streamlined processes but also face complexities and concerns around privacy, data protection and implementation hurdles, PYMNTS reported in April.

Amid concerns about potential societal harms, Big Tech companies are increasingly enforcing guardrails around facial recognition and AI systems.

On the other hand, PYMNTS Intelligence has found that people are getting more used to logging into their favorite apps on their smartphones using facial recognition or their fingerprints.

Nearly half of online shoppers in the U.S. use some type of biometric authentication method for purchasing online, according to “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Biometric Authentication in the Age of Mobile,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and AWS collaboration.