Earlier in the year, Facebook added a facial recognition feature that automatically built face prints to suggest the identity of friends in uploaded photos. It's fair to say that there were some big opinions about the feature- most people freaked out, claiming the feature was 'creepy', and violated their privacy.
Now, Google are taking a brave step with their social networking site Google+, by implementing their own version of the facial recognition feature that caused so much uproar. But is it brave? It seems after the initial outrage, public perception of facial recognition seems to have changed and people are becoming more used to their face being recognised by a computer. It would seem that social networkers are now starting to see it as a tool of ease and convenience to making tagging photos easier for example, rather than a 1984, 'Big Brother' style weapon of conformity that it was made out to be.
Having seen the backlash that Facebook faced, and working closely with the Federal Trade Commision in regard to privacy, Google is making "Find My Face" an opt-in feature, rather than automatically implementing it for all users.
Public sentiment seems to be that the Google+ feature is better, with the most important thing being that users are able to choose whether to use it, and as a result, the tool has had a lot less negative press.
Use of facial recognition is quickly becoming more mainstream. Google have already used it within their Picasa program, as have Apple within iPhoto, and more recently, Microsoft within Windows Live and Xbox 360 Kinect.
Digital cameras already use face detection technology, and as technology develops within photography and video, facial recognition is not too far away. Taggable video tools such as WIREWAX already use motion tracking hotspots to track people and objects within video, and with facial detection and eventually facial recognition a logical step forward from this, no doubt as technology develops this will be incorporated soon.
Using facial recognition within video would be great- being able to automatically find videos featuring yourself, or group videos together according to who is in them, would not only be a fantastic search capability, but fun at the same time. Facial recognition is a cool feature, with lots of opportunity to integrate into our daily lives. So even though it may seem daunting, surely it's technology to be embraced?