Update at 12:30 p.m. PT: Google claims CNN's story to be speculative. A company representative said "we are in fact not working on developing an app with these capabilities."
Update at 4:30 p.m. PT: CNN is now countering Google's claims, saying it stands by the original piece. An updated version of our story follows.
Google says it's not working on an application that would allow users to identify others by snapping a picture of their face with a cell phone camera, despite a high-profile report that one is on the way.
A report posted by CNN earlier today claimed the company is at work on such an application, but faces privacy hurdles in readying it for market. The story contained an interview with Google's engineering director for image recognition development, Harmut Neven.
In a statement earlier this afternoon a representative for Google said, "we are in fact not working on developing an app with these capabilities," and referred to the piece as speculative. Now CNN is fighting Google on the issue, claiming that the company's claims "do not fit the facts of the situation."
"This interview was prearranged--on the record--and staffed by a Google PR rep, who raised no objections at the time and did not deny what the engineer said," a CNN representative told CNET. "Additionally, we have an audio recording of the interview, as does Google. We stand firmly behind Mark's reporting."
A Google representative declined to comment on CNN's statement.
Privacy remains a touchy subject for Google. Earlier this week Google entered a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over last year's launch of its Buzz service, which has led to the company agreeing to establish a "comprehensive privacy program." In terms of imaging, Google had also gotten in hot water with privacy groups when it rolled out its Street View technology, which provided raw photos with faces and license plates, two details that were later removed.… Read more