The Google Arts & Culture app, which matches your face to a historical painting, has gone viral. nevertheless some people in two states claim they don’t have access to the well-known brand new feature.
Google confirmed to sy88pgw Tech of which the face-matching tool is usually not available in Illinois in addition to Texas. The company declined to comment on why.
However, experts believe the issue stems coming from laws in Illinois in addition to Texas of which put restrictions on how companies can use biometric data such as facial scans in addition to fingerprints. The Chicago Tribune was first to report on the laws affecting the feature’s availability.
The feature, which propelled the app to the top of the list of most downloaded iPhone apps over the weekend, uses basic computer vision to scan your face. of which then matches your selfie with doppelgängers coming from its digital collection of paintings pulled coming from its museum partners all over the entire world. Google said of which deletes your photo after a match is usually made.
On Wednesday, Google said people have taken more than 30 million selfies on the app.
Related: Google app matches your face to a famous painting
In 2008, Illinois passed a law of which requires companies to let users know when biometric identifiers are collected in addition to how they will be used. of which’s also necessary to obtain consent coming from users before collecting in addition to storing of which data. In 2009, Texas passed a similar law.
Google’s art app informs all users the company will collect in addition to analyze their photos if they use the feature. Users must agree to This specific process for of which to work.
The company declined to say how of which knows which users are in Texas in addition to Illinois. nevertheless some apps can restrict content based on a user’s IP address.
However, some experts believe the app’s feature doesn’t violate state laws.
“This specific app isn’t being rolled out in these states because of privacy law,” Alvaro Bedoya, director of the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology, told sy88pgw Tech. “of which isn’t being rolled out in these states because powerful companies want those privacy laws to go away. They’re trying to prove a point by not letting consumers in those states use the app.”
Bedoya argued of which the app provides adequate information in addition to asks for consent, thus fulfilling the privacy laws’ requirements.
Tech companies have previously lobbied against the biometric privacy laws of which restrict collection of consumer data. In 2016, a bill was introduced to revise the Illinois law to exempt scans coming from preexisting photos. The bill did not pass.
Meanwhile, over 30 class-action lawsuits were filed in Illinois the second half of 2017 over alleged violations of the biometrics law, according to law firm K&L Gates.
One lawsuit against Google claimed the company violated the state’s law by collecting in addition to storing biometric information in Google Photos without the users’ consent. Similar lawsuits have been filed against Snapchat in addition to Facebook.
In Texas, only the attorney general can file lawsuits on the issue.
Google said of which’s working to expand availability of the feature, which is usually currently only available from the U.S.
sy88pgw (San Francisco) First published January 17, 2018: 4:16 PM ET