-The public wanted to be protected.
They just didn't wanna know how they were being protected.
-Big brother, the eye in the sky, they been watching us for ears.
But with new facial recognition technology, you're no longer just an anonymous face in the crowd.
-facial recognition is a great biometric and that for surveillance because it doesn't require anybody to willingly submit to any kind of DNA, fingerprint, Irish recognition,
but it lacks the precision of those kinds of biometrics.
-Tim Frederick is an engineer with a video analytics company called 3VR.
The company sells software that records and analyzes video in real time, so that customers like banks or shopping malls can quickly search thousands of hours of video for specific image like a face, a car, or license plate.
Facial recognition is an increasingly popular technology for both government and business.
Scotland Yard investigators are using it
to track down suspects involved in a recent London riots and advertisers are also zeroing in on this technology or should I say, our faces.
-Basically, it looks at and says yes it's a human being is not a dog or cat or a building or a bus stop.
It then detects your distance between your eyes, the longness of your nose.
Those analytics are very partial to women versus men.
-Intel's digital kiosk software doesn't store any video and Intel says it has no plans to try to identify you personally when you walk up to a signs,
but could it be only a matter of time.
-Software is getting better, storage is getting cheaper, and so you can imagine a situation where you have network cameras, wherever you're out in public, whenever you're walking down any street, a computer somewhere knows where you are and what you are doing, where you've been, and where you're going.
-[unk] is a CNET.com reporter an privacy expert.
He says the public needs to know about the steady march toward constant surveillance and that it's not just coming from governments and law enforcement.
some of the biggest companies on the internet are using facial recognition technology every time you upload a photo.
-This is remarkable technology.
There are a lot of beneficial uses.
Facebook and Google and Apple are all finding great things to do with it, but there is this downside of technology as well and it depends on how it's used.
It depends on what rules apply.
It depends on what rights individuals have in terms of how their faces are stored and shown.
-Back at 3VR, Tim Frederick knows better than anyone that the future might look like.
-It is a really, you know,
interesting place to work when you're surrounded by cameras like this.
In many ways, it's a harbinger what's to come.
-You're on camera and they probably know who you are, so you might as well smile.
Molly Wood, CNET.com, in San Francisco.