back to article How much is your face worth? Google thinks a $5 Starbucks gift card should be good enough

Google hired a temp agency to record people’s faces, especially those with darker skin, to collect data for a facial recognition system and offered them $5 gift vouchers in return. The contractors, hired by Randstad, a recruitment agency based in Atlanta, were reportedly asked to target black people. Many of these ended up …

  1. Mayday Silver badge

    Why does anyone..

    ...listen to or do what people accosting them in the street wants them to anyway? They are ALWAYS going to benefit them and/or their organisation. Never you. Especially for $5 of Starbucks swill.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Blockchain commentard

    Obviously Google will do the honourable thing and delete the images and all associated data and start afresh. No?

    1. allthegoodnamesweretaken

      Obviously. "Honour above profit" is right below "Do no evil" in their code of con... oh. No, wait...

    2. TheVogon

      I really don't see an issue. Google needed more foreign face profiles in the database and they paid those involved $5 for a few seconds of their time. At least they are trying to address the problem.

  3. FozzyBear


    I think we can all agree Google, having just reached the age of adulthood, has transitioned from

    "Do no Evil" The slogan of an infant that still beleives in Santa clause

    to effectively

    "Yeah fuck you, what are you going to do, WE"RE FUCKING GOOGLE" <Insert insane evil laugh>

    Still don't believe me. Well I have a $5 starbucks gift card for you

    1. tfewster

      Re: OK

      And the sample is still skewed...towards poor, young, time-rich people. Who may be more susceptible to falling into bad ways.

      So will the AI "prove" what cops have always "felt" - Black people are all criminals?

      1. TheVogon

        Re: OK

        12% of the US population versus 33% of the US prison population says that they might be on to something.

  4. dnicholas

    Don't be caught being evil. Hire contactors

  5. Johnny Canuck

    Well, if they want to cough up a $5 gift card every time they access the image, then great.

  6. Denarius

    Starbuck coffee a reward ?

    only in 'merica. Only coffee chain to go broke in Oz national crapital.

    1. Kernel

      Re: Starbuck coffee a reward ?

      I believe they're not doing too well in NZ, either.

  7. doublelayer Silver badge

    "Google said the data would be retained for 18 months."

    And it will. It will be retained for eighteen months. Then, it will be retained for another six months. Then, it will be retained until the end of time. They never said it would be deleted after eighteen months.

    Come on, Google. If you want to do the misleading statement thing, you'll have to do better than that. Your spokesperson undoubtedly has a degree in PR, and I'm a software dev. Until they can come up with a statement I couldn't have, they're not even trying hard. I know you don't think you have to but...

  8. sbt

    I propose a new phrase for the occurence of expected events

    We know the pope's been sh*tting in the woods forever. How about:

    Does Google quietly cling to your personal info?

  9. Winkypop Silver badge



  10. Warm Braw

    Google instructed its contractors to go after black people

    That's a sentence to stop you in your tracks.

  11. iron Silver badge

    "We’re taking these claims seriously... violation of our requirements..." data would be retained for 18 months.

    Surely if the data was collected in violation of Google's requirements (presumably don't get caught?) and without honestly telling the subjects who and what it was for they should delete it immediately.

  12. riffrafff

    Can you even buy anything at charbucks for $5?

    1. dajames

      Can you even buy anything at charbucks for $5?

      A lucky escape if you can't, some would say!

  13. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Some faces are more worth

  14. Steffen Jobbs

    Google is allowed to do anything it wants. It's a large and profitable company with very influential investors. If people are happy to get something for their face, then more power to them. Too bad if their face ends up on a database for the intelligence agencies to use in the future.

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