"Photo management programs such as Picasa and iPhoto can pick out a snapshot of your cousin Dave from a stack of party pictures — but what about more complex uses of facial recognition in less controlled situations? In this segment, we’ll take a look at the state of the art in facial recognition, from ‘Google Goggles’ that give you additional information about things your cell phone camera sees, to security applications that scan faces at airports. How good is the technology, and how can it be employed while respecting privacy concerns?"
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We spy on the new culture of surveillance. Kurt Andersen talks to technologist and philosopher Jaron Lanier about why we have to watch the watchers. An artist meticulously tracks government spy satellites crossing the night sky. A computer scientist explains what goes into building a facial recognition system. And sitting silently in her car, a photographer secretly snaps pictures of strangers in their homes.
Tech columnist Randy Stross discusses whether users really own the digital books and music they purchase, or merely rent them. Computer scientist Hank Levy talks about privacy software that causes e-mails and documents on remote servers to self-destruct after eight hours.
The FBI plans to move forward with a facial recognition system that’s set to be fully implemented by 2014. Facial recognition is just one part of many biometric tools the FBI eventually plans to use to gather and store intelligence information, including fingerprint searches and iris scans.