As we know, one of the big news of the Pixel 4 family will be its face recognition technology. So Google decided to hire a third-party company to roam the streets of the United States in search of volunteers who would agree to sell their facial data.
The main idea is to improve the identification of black people, but the New York Daily News revealed this week that Google-hired Randstad may have performed the task unethically.
According to sources who worked during the project, the company sent employees to Atlanta, southern US, to search for college students and homeless people. While approaching people, Randstad employees rarely warned that they worked for Google and were collecting facial data.
To make matters worse, homeless groups were wanted because they were “less likely to say anything to the media.” As compensation for participating in the tests, each person received a gift card of only $ 5.
Although Google did not issue instructions for such an approach, Randstad also decided to bet on homeless people to “broaden the program’s diversity.” Thus, the intention is to increase the variety of skin tones and facial features that technology can recognize.
However, in a rather questionable approach, company employees were told that they were testing a new application. In some cases, they said it was only necessary to move the phone for a few minutes to earn $ 5.
If the person looks at this screen after the task is completed and says, ‘Oh, were you shooting a video?’ … we were told to say ‘not really’ – said a former employee of the company
Wanted to comment on the complaint, Google said it should investigate Randstad’s conduct:
We are taking these reports seriously and conducting investigations. Allegations of consent violate our requirements for voluntary research studies and the training we provide.