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@ D9: Schmidt Says Google Pulled Back From Potentially Dangerous Technology

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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) shelved technology that would mesh mobile location with facial recognition because of fears it would be misused, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told attendees at the opening session at All Things Digital. An ‘evil dictator’ could use that against you, Schmidt said.

“We built that technology and withheld it [because] people could use in a very bad way,” Schmidt said.

But Google won’t keep the two technologies from meshing via apps on its Android or Chrome platforms. “Any platform app strategy has to allow for people to do that kind of stuff,” Schmidt said.

Pressed by Walt Mossberg about allowing others to do what Google won’t, Schmidt added: “There are plenty of apps I don’t like that are still legal.”