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CNET News Video: Facial recognition cuts investigation time down to seconds
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CNET News Video: Facial recognition cuts investigation time down to seconds

1:38 /

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, police have been poring over surveillance footage and amateur video and photos in the search for evidence. Just a few years ago, this process would have taken hundreds of investigative man-hours. Now it takes just minutes or even seconds, thanks to technology like facial recognition and object tracking. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports.

-Footage from the Boston Marathon bombing is being scrutinized for any clues. Now, software companies have ways to identify specific individuals and pick them out of a crowd. -That's what really important- is the different ways that your mouth is shaped and the [unk] of your nose is shaped a different way, you know, the ridge is shaped and how your eyes are shaped. All of those kind of compute into meta data and then that's how we run that search against your face. -The engineers has 3VR in San Francisco say their facial surveillance technology works like a Google Search, but for faces. -Show me all men. Show me all women. Show me all the people over 30. Show me everybody under 20 or show me people who look like this specific person. Those are all things we can search on. -This technology can also be used to identify objects in a specific area like a child's backpack or car. -If there was a report that a red vehicle fled east on the street, we could run our analytic against that video and show you every single time a red vehicle went east. -While facial recognition technology can cut an investigation from days or weeks to minutes or seconds. It also brings up questions or concerns over privacy and possible overuse of the technology. -The surveillance technology has very good uses. I mean, it can solve crimes. It can deter crimes, but it also- it can sort of cross the creepy line and not everyone might like being subjected to this kind of potential cradle the grave privacy intrusion. -Well, a hat or sunglasses can stump some cameras. Engineers are already working to counteract these disguises. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com for CBS News.

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