Google is looking to improve its forthcoming face unlock feature by paying people to use their physical data, according to reports.
ZDNet reports the company is approaching consumers on the street and offering them $5 to test the feature on a prototype smartphone, that may or may not have been a Pixel 4.
The company is reportedly offering Amazon and Starbucks gift cards to the value of $5 for the privilege of doing, seemingly, whatever it wants with members of the public’s faces.
One participant, a friend of the reporter, an engineer called George told the site: “I basically had to use selfie mode and move my face around to get different angles of my face.
“He offered me a $5 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks in exchange for 5 minutes of me interacting with the phone.”
Related: Google Pixel 4
He went on: “I assume they’ll use the data to train a neural network to be able to recognise what a face is. Then you train your own phone on what your specific face looks like. And that’s what gets used to unlock your phone, Face ID-style, but more accurately.”
The author pointed out George had effectively “sold your face for $5” having signed a pretty extensive waiver without reading it all the way through. The team member also told George, Google had teams in may cities carrying out the tease.
Google has yet to comment on the report, but we’ve reached out to the firm seeking comment on how extensive the trials are, and what exactly the company plans to do with the data.
The report comes, with Google reportedly planning to debut a Face ID alternative for the first time in a homegrown handset when the Pixel 4 rolls around in October.
Would you sell Google access to your face for a fiver? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.