Law enforcement agencies are exploring facial recognition software, which can identify even a partially hidden face in a crowd, with technology that can maps a face and create something as unique as a fingerprint: a faceprint.
But "while government has all kinds of restrictions," on this type of software, says facial recognition software pioneer Joseph Atick, "big business is free to do this kind of surveillance."
There are "no rules for commercial companies," he says.
"What's unique about face recognition is the fact that you can do it surreptitiously, from a distance, and continually," explains Joseph Atick, one of the pioneers in developing facial recognition. Two decades ago, as a young scientist, he helped make the technology work. Now it gives him pause. "Big Brother is no longer big government; Big Brother is big business."