Google is about to get an eye in the sky powerful enough to see your face, thanks to updated satellite imaging laws and a new satellite set to launch later this week.
After lobbying the federal government to green-light a halving of the satellite imaging zoom limit to 25 cm resolution earlier this year, satellite company DigitalGlobe will launch a new satellite Wednesday capable of shooting the new images, which will show in detail objects as small as 10 inches, according to Motherboard.
Among its customers DigitalGlobe counts multiple federal agencies, NASA, Microsoft and Google, which signed a new multi-year contract to obtain images for Google Earth, Maps and Street View earlier this year.
The company, which already has five satellites in orbit, is currently lobbying to reduce the resolution down to 10 cm, or the size of a smartphone, according to the report.
“At 25 centimeters, the images will be detailed enough to classify the make of a car,” the report states. “If the restrictions relax further, the plate number or owner’s face could come into clear view.”
Google, with the help of its recently acquired satellite company Skybox, plans to launch 24 of its own satellites by 2018, which will capture images of the entire planet three times per day at a distance closer than 1 meter of resolution, and 90 seconds of video at 30 frames-per-second.