Any software that uses facial recognition requires an ample amount of data to properly train the AI that runs it. Data collection is something that Google has always been quite good at but in what appears to be an attempt to train the AI possibly for face unlock on its upcoming Pixel 4, Google is reportedly giving $5 gift cards to people for their facial data.
ZDNet reports that Google has teams approaching people in public places in cities across the country. The teams tell people that they are working for Google and that data is being collected to improve the next generation of facial recognition phone unlocking. If the person agrees, they’re handed a phone in a very large case.
It’s not clear if the case contains a Pixel 4 prototype or an older display. The person basically has to use selfie mode and move their face around so that the camera can capture different angles of their face. The participants are offered a $5 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks in exchange for their facial data.
There have been reports that Google is building a Face ID-like facial recognition unlock system for the Pixel 4. That would explain why it’s straight up approaching people on the street to ask them for their face data.