The latter part is the crux of the issue here. Facial recognition is still a hotly debated technology and by no means is there a societal consensus on how it should be used. Earlier this month, Minneapolis banned police from using facial recognition tech, and back in November, the Los Angeles Police Department did the same. In total, 13 cities across the U.S. have banned local law enforcement from using the technology. Several cities, including San Francisco and Boston, have also banned government use of facial recognition. And even if—and it’s a big if—people and legislators miraculously cozied up to the technology before Facebook’s anticipated launch of these smart glasses later this year, Facebook of all companies doesn’t have the greatest privacy track record.


Put simply, society is barely warming up to the idea of putting extremely simple smart glasses on their faces—let alone a pair with facial recognition. Devices like these have failed before, and will likely fail again, because no company thus far has successfully convinced consumers this is a gadget they absolutely need. If Facebook wants to do this the right way, it will release a pair of smart glasses that solve consumers’ problems—not a pair that immediately knocks over an entire barrel of worms.