Google Clips Camera: Why There Are No New Privacy Challenges

Suppose you are on vacation or see some amazing sights. You probably want to capture those moments and cherish them forever (or at least until you get home). It would be more memorable if the photos are candid pictures.

But the practical difficulty is that during those partying moments, at least in our daily lives, you run the risk of not being able to capture all those precious moments every time. Sensing this need for photography lovers, Google has developed something interesting. It’s an AI-powered camera called Clips.

This 2”x2” device, weighing 2.2 oz with the clip, can recognize expressions, lighting and framing to capture beautiful, spontaneous images by itself. The Google Clips camera automatically chooses which moments to capture and keep; thus, eliminating the need for being behind the camera all the time and missing out on those awesome moments. And yes, it also has a button and an app to capture images at the user’s will as well. You know what that means? The next time you’re having fun in Vegas with your friends, partying and gambling with your Google Clips in tow, all your social media worthy moments will be captured without so much as you lifting a finger. Well, maybe a finger.

Google Clips captures motion photos that last several seconds (learned to be seven seconds for now), though without audio. The most interesting fact about the gadget is that it learns to recognize familiar faces based on the amount of time you spend with someone. It can even pick out pets like cats or dogs.

In addition, it is packed with the lens occlusion detection technology to alert your phone if the lens is blocked. And it makes handling images easy as well. You can use its smartphone app or Google Photos to manage the images taken by Google Clips. Despite being so handy, there are criticisms as well, though almost all are unfounded.

One criticism is the apprehension that the Google Clips will not be able to filter out private moments. Hearing this criticism, what comes to a normal person’s mind is that, “is there any camera that turns off by itself during ‘private’ moments?” No, not to date. All cameras need to be switched off if someone doesn’t want it to record private moments, and so is the case with Google Clips as well. But if you’re still not satisfied, the camera has white lights to alert when the camera is filming.

Another criticism is that “determining what makes a good shot is still a profoundly human.” Yes, true. Hence, the Google Clips provides the owner with several clips from in which the owner can select the shots they think are “good,” and discard the rest. And if the owner wishes so, they can capture the shots they want using the capture button as well.

Lastly, some have criticized that it will be used for surveillance purposes. However, this is no more the case than with any other camera; only the Google Clips could increase efficiency and save energy and resources.

Overall, the Google Clips seems quite useful. However, in addition to capturing those candid pictures that otherwise are difficult to capture, it also seems obvious that it creates no new privacy challenges. So, it looks like Google might have a winner here.


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