Google Contractor Pays Parents $50 to Scan Their Childrens' Faces

Google is having parents film their children wearing hats and sunglasses, with the collected data to include eyelid shape and skin tone.
Google's logo.
Image: Unsplash/Mitchell Luo.

Google is collecting the eyelid shape and skin tone of children via parent submitted videos, according to a project description online reviewed by 404 Media. Canadian tech conglomerate TELUS, which says it is working on Google’s behalf, is offering parents $50 to film their children wearing various props such as hats or sunglasses as part of the project, the description adds.

The project shows the methods some companies are using to build machine learning, artificial intelligence, or facial recognition datasets and products. Rather than scraping already existing images or analyzing previously collected material, TELUS, and by extension Google, is asking the public to contribute directly and get paid in return. Google told 404 Media the collection was part of the company’s efforts to verify users’ age.

“Eyelid shape. Skin tone. Video recording (without voice),” a section of the project terms and conditions listing the data collected reads. Another section says that TELUS’ customer—that is, Google—will collect “facial geometry.”