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Facial recognition: Facebook photo matching just the start

John P. Mello Jr. | Sept. 21, 2011
The Internet was in an uproar earlier this year following Facebook's launch of facial recognition software for its photo services, enabling users to identify their friends in photos automatically--and without their permission. Though critics described that move as creepy, the controversial technology may now be on the verge of widespread use.

Sensible Vision makes facial recognition software designed for authenticating a person's identity. When users install Sensible Vision's software--Fast Access--on their computer and then sit in front of that PC, the software recognizes their face and logs them in automatically. If a user leaves the computer, the software detects his or her absence and prevents anyone else from using the unit. The company sells both personal and enterprise versions of the software.

In the long run, many problems involving potentially invasive technologies such as facial recognition simply work themselves out, according to Stewart Hefferman, CEO of OmniPerception, of Guilford in the UK, which makes object and facial recognition software.

"There are ways, through technology and legislation, of making sure that people's privacy is protected while deriving the benefits of a technology," Hefferman says.



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