Here’s Why You Can’t Get Google’s New Selfie Art App In Illinois
If you've been on social media the past week you've probably seen an example of the photo above.
It comes from an app called Google's Art & Culture app. There is a function in it that allows you to take a selfie and it will pour through its database to find a public work of art that best matches up to your face. Cool right? Not if you're in Illinois (or Texas).
The reasoning behind it is probably what you guessed, bureaucracy. It has to do with Illinois having some of the nation's strictest laws on the use of biometrics. Biometrics include facial, fingerprint, and iris scans.
ChicagoTribune - Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act mandates that companies collecting such information obtain prior consent from consumers, detailing how they’ll use it and how long it will be kept. It also allows private citizens to sue, while other states have laws that let only the attorney general bring a lawsuit.
So as you can see it all boils down to Google basically not wanting to get sued. Makes sense.
For the meantime, if you want to use the app you'll have to travel north of the cheese curtain, they apparently aren't as lawsuit happy as we are down here.
The positive spin in all this is that no one in Illinois has volunteered to upload their face into a national registry. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.