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Picasa Rolls Out 3.0 — Now With Facial Recognition

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the face-in-the-crowd dept.

Privacy 243

eldavojohn writes "If you use Picasa (Google's photo sharing site), they have upgraded to 3.0 and are purportedly offering facial recognition. That's right, why tag photos of your friends when the software will group similar faces together for you? There's a new list of features including repairing old photographs by touching them up and even writing on your images. As expected, not everyone is 'ok' with Google automatically recognizing you in pictures."

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243 comments

First (-1, Offtopic)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863613)

FACE!

Google Earth integration. (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863759)

I'm waiting for Google Earth integration, where it matches your face with images on street view and finds you on planet earth.

Re:Google Earth integration. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864057)

Remember that time,,,,? Did anyone take pics? If there was any pics, did someone post them on the internet? Maybe your boss will let you know,,,,maybe the police will,,,maybe your parent(s) will,,,maybe your wife ( or her lawyer ) will,,,

How does that old ethics line go: "it is not whether or not we can, but whether or not we should"? Double application here?

Re:First (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864535)

Yeah but does Picasa finally support Color Management?

Does it support production quality image formats such as TGA, EXR, IFF, PIC, etc...

Picasa is a neat app, but its a toy. Why cant it be production ready too? I know as a 3d artist, i would love to have a nice way to catalogue all of my textures, renders etc all in a nice single smart searchable database... Besides vista search that is.

picasas? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863641)

picasas?

Re:picasas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863689)

I love you Larry! Will you be the mother of my children?

-xoxoxox

Re:picasas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863977)

He may agree - but only on the condition that you are hardcore apple fanboy (er.. or girl).

Cool (1)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863659)

Cool technology. I can imagine it now.....Google becomes the premier private security company.....

Re:Cool (3, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863955)

Facial recognition is nothing new. It's been in casinos and airports for years. This is the first time this technology has been available to the general public, though, if I'm not mistaken (and I probably am).

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864067)

It's really been a couple of red-letter days for anti-Google privacy advocates, hasn't it? Google follows up the storm of privacy concerns related to the release of Chrome, and next day here comes Picasa with facial recognition!

I funked your daddy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863665)

I won't be uploading any pictures of me fucking you daddy then. 'Cause I don't want you to search for pictures of your old man and come up with me.

Unless you want me to fuck you too...

(I have a wide selection of strap-ons, but most people prefer the 6 inch. Your daddy prefers the 8 inch, but he's got a big butt.)

Ah good (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863671)

It can sort my porn.

It recognizes *faces* (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863749)

...but you can still sort by actor.

Re:It recognizes *faces* (2, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864089)

...but you can still sort by actor.

but not actress?

Re:It recognizes *faces* (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864137)

Insisting that female performer be referred to as "actress" is sexist and minimizes their talent, implying that they have lesser skills than the male performers.

(I think I just broke my PC gland)

Re:It recognizes *faces* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864345)

Insisting that female performer be referred to as "actress" is sexist and minimizes their talent, implying that they have lesser skills than the male performers.

Equal but different -- it's obvious.

Re:It recognizes *faces* (0, Offtopic)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864505)

Turkeys as a species CAN fly (albeit poorly), but domestic turkeys are too fat.

Re:It recognizes *faces* (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864699)

"Turkeys as a species CAN fly (albeit poorly), but domestic turkeys are too fat."

It's a reference to...oh, nevermind.

heh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863687)

checkout the error message it throws on a goatse image :P

You are Picasa Web Albums' bitch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863693)

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Picasa Web Albums, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content through Picasa Web Albums, including RSS or other content feeds offered through Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services. In addition, by submitting, posting or displaying Content which is intended to be available to the general public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services.

App first, site afterwards. (5, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863727)

Google's Picasa is a photo-manipulation application that you download to your computer and install so you can manipulate images. It includes the capability of uploading those files to PicasaWeb, which is actually the photo-sharing site...

Re:App first, site afterwards. (5, Informative)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864167)

And it actually is great tool for managing (and non-destructive basic editing of) your pictures (unless you are a pro and in need of production house pro tools).

I have been Picasa user even before it was purchased by Google, and it has been pretty good for everything I need to do with my personal pictures (over 20000 now).

This is a big update - not only face recognition, but a lot of new tools are added or enhanced. Now you can even make/edit movies (basic, but good), which otherwise was view-only till 2.7.

A good video on new features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rskC6c_5L1M [youtube.com]

Picasa is awesome (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863735)

Picasa is not creepy at all. It's one of the few products from Google pack that I use on a regular basis. It's nice being able to see all the pictures on your computer from one place. It occasionally sometimes takes a really long time to start up though.

Re:Picasa is awesome (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863875)

Yeah, but doesn't F-Spot [f-spot.org] do the same thing? It not only supports PicasaWeb, but it also supports flickr and SmugMug. Yeah, I know Picasa runs on Linux, but F-Spot loads faster, has more features and has the advantage of being offered under the GPL.

Re:Picasa is awesome (1)

Drakonik (1193977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864693)

Perhaps, but short of compiling my own version, there's no F-spot for Windows. Plus, I LIKE how integrated Google's services are with each other. My Blogger account uses my Picasa Web Albums account to host images, and my Google Analytics and AdSense accounts let me track statistics about my blog, and such.

Can't Wait .... (5, Funny)

Luthair (847766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863783)

to find out if you tag someone mooning the camera, if the facial recognition will eventually 'recognize' a friends face.

Families (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863789)

Considering that members of a family typically bear a very strong resemblance to one another (with identical twins being the extreme case), I would think this would be one of the tougher trials for a facial recognition algorithm.

Re:Families (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864341)

now you got me curious.. I'm going to have to install this on the wife's windows PC, and put in photos that have my brothers that are twins, and see what happens. Wonder how long it will take google to update the linux version to 3. (yes, I know its just the windows one with a wine wrapper, but I like it better than f-spot)

Re:Families (4, Interesting)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864611)

It seemed to be very confused by my wife and daughters. Even some of her relatives showed up.

Re:Families (5, Informative)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864757)

Er... I too thought this was a feature of Picasa (desktop), but the summary is really really bad and misleading - the feature is actually in Picasa Web.
You do not have to do anything if you already have pictures uploaded there - just enable the option in the new updated user interface (this option is not on by default), it may be a while your pictures are scanned (23 mins for me), and then you will be able to start playing with faces and tags.

Re:Families (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864759)

K, so I've been playing now. First, its in the picasaweb web albums, not in the downloaded program. But it scanned the pictures, and I started entering names. I tagged a bunch of faces of my wife, and her mom, and when I got to her sister, the "suggested tag" had both my wife's and her mom's names. Very interesting.. it definitely saw the family resemblance..

If you don't like Google doing it you won't like.. (2, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863805)

the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has been spending millions and possibly billions [boston.com] on face recognizing cameras for cities around the nation.

It wouldn't be too difficult for the DHS to take the information from google and incorporate it in their own databases.

Re:If you don't like Google doing it you won't lik (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864029)

Probably they can take the raw pictures far before this, and do their own face recognition.

Is not the government that you must be afraid of, putting this in hands of everyone will ease a lot of things for normal people, and as tools, can be used with good and wrong intentions, and even be "accidents" making easier to see the right people in the wrong places or viceversa.

Re:If you don't like Google doing it you won't lik (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864281)

But unlike DHS, Google might manage to make the technology work.

This summary is freaking me out, man (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863809)

It's not from the insert-joke-here department. It's not from any department!! AIIEEEEE!!!

I'm confused... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863815)

How is this not a violation of basic data protection laws in numerous jurisdictions (like, say, pretty much all of Europe)?

This is the curse of social networking sites generally: you don't have to be the person providing personal information about yourself, because chances are your well-meaning friends will do it for you.

Re:I'm confused... (1, Insightful)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864183)

What would be the solution, then? Should Google block IPs originating from Europe? Should it be made a crime to tag any European citizens in your photos? I'm pretty sure many internet users in the west would be miffed if laws from China applied to their software and websites, simply because someone from China could hypothetically access it.

So true (yes, this is a 'me too' post) (3, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864431)

I was watching a Dr. Phil show by chance about a week back that dealt with some girls posting questionable pictures of themselves (not naked, just.. plastered) on their Facebook/whatever, and discussing how that might impact their (future) lives - with one employer type guy saying that he will check you out on the internet and if he were to find stuff like that, not consider you for a job.

So Dr. Phil and some 'expert' went on to say that posting pictures like that is not good, blablabla; the same stuff parents would tell their children, I guess.

But what Anonymous Brave Guy mentioned was not even touched upon in the program; yes, it's stupid if you publish those pictures yourself, but what are you gonna do if somebody -else- posts those pictures?
Yes, you can ask them to take them down... maybe they will, maybe they won't.. in the latter case you might ask Facebook.. who may take them down, or not.. in the latter case you might have to sue, etc. But even if your friend does take them down... a friend of theirs may have already copied it to -their- facebook page. In no time, it can be in a hundred random places on the internet... and that employer-type guy is going to find it and not hire you. So what are you going to do against that? Check if anybody's taking pictures while you're plastered? Good luck doing that when every cellphone has a camera these days. Only get plastered while in a private setting? Most of these pictures -are- from private parties.

I guess the answer is "don't get plastered". Sadly, that means "Don't do anything whatsoever that, while innocuous, may be interpreted in such a way by other people as to form a negative opinion of you either personally or professionally". A boring life that'll be.

Back to the topic at hand; protecting your own privacy is all good and well, but in the end, if others are allowed to talk about you in the forum of a billion people that is the internet, you're bound to be screwed one way or another.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864513)

Picasa's facial recognition technology will ask you to identify people in your pictures that you haven't tagged yet. Once you do and start uploading more pictures, Picasa starts suggesting tags for people based on the similarity between their face in the picture and the

So you register for an online PicasaWeb account, download a program, copy your pictures to it, tell it whose face is in each picture, add tags for them, share the pictures, and tell Picasa to go ahead and tag the other images for you... and this is somehow Google's fault that you chose to expose this information?

Please bring out Mac support (4, Interesting)

asmitty (953644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863819)

This was one of my favorite programs when I was on Windows, and I miss its use on my mac. I enjoy iPhoto, but Picasa just had so many features that I loved and used and find so much better than iPhoto. Things like watching folders to see when new pictures were added, moved, and deleted. Cmon google...

Re:Please bring out Mac support (2, Informative)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864673)

Switching from Picasa to iPhoto was PAINFUL. So painful in fact, that I ditched it all together. I started using Bibble [bibblelabs.com] on the mac. It's much more powerful and way less limited. It's mostly designed for processing RAW photos, but works well with jpegs too. It does crash every six or seven seconds though.

I really miss the watch feature and the time-line feature. That was by far one of the coolest photo organization tools I've ever seen. I wish google would get on it and release Picasa for the mac too.

Going to get in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863821)

I can see a divorce lawyer or journalist finding pictures of someone in a Vegas club or some bar drinking or flirting. They may get in trouble when they get back home.

I bet my employer searches my name every now ans then, if I did something questionable and a picture was taken and put on-line, that isn't very good.

Re:Going to get in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24863927)

This also could pose problems for college sports teams. Being that there are college students involved, there is underage drinking and sometimes pictures too. If these pictures became searchable, any athlete holding a drink would probably become ineligible per the NCAA Code of Conduct.

What I'm not thrilled about (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863839)

I'm not thrilled that Picasa will probably update itself without asking my permission. I seem to remember that happened once before. Seeing as how I need to use Picasa this afternoon, I'll have to de-network the computer first.

I'm REALLY worried that one day the old MusicMatch Jukebox v8 that came with my 4-year-old Dell will be remotely disabled somehow one day because I refuse to upgrade to yahoo or whatever it's turned into now. It seems to randomly connect somewhere and issue "friendly reminders" to me to upgrade. No way, Jose.

Speaking of Google, am I the only person not even remotely interested in their new chrome browser? Probably.

Oh bullshit (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863847)

From TFA:

This is also a larger issue for parents with small children. Other family members could tag photos of your child on the Internet. If a predator were to find pictures labeled with a location and a full name, he could gather enough information on your child to pose as a family friend in an attempt to lure your child from safety.

This is why you raise your child with a "whitelist" concept of who is a family friend. That's how my parents did it, and how most people did it when I was growing up. If I didn't know you, guess what? That meant you didn't come around enough to know you were a family friend, and no friend of my parents would have been upset if I didn't trust them and we'd never met. Why? Family friends understand that sort of thing from little kids who may have met them at most once or twice. Most of the problems should go away when they hit the teenage years because by that time, they can be reasonably expected to be able to figure these things out, and make their own way home.

I don't trust Google, but give it a rest with the sex offender crap. If your kids fall prey to this, it's your fault, not Google's fault because you should have taught them to only trust "friends of the family" that you introduced them to.

Re:Oh bullshit (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864117)

I agree. The author is criticizing Google for something that anyone can do today with normal web tools.

Another problem arises when one of your friends decides to make their name tags public. You could see pictures labeled with your name popping up on the Web without your knowledge. While this information is not necessary included in search results, it can still prove problematic.

One of my friends could take a photo of me then, without my knowledge, upload it to their web site/blog/MySpace page/whatever with the caption "This is Jason Levine." Has Web Host/Blog Software Provider/MySpace/whatever just committed a huge privacy violation? No. If a privacy violation happened (and it would depend on the nature of the photo), the friend is the one who committed it. Google's tool doesn't increase the means for privacy violations.

This is also a larger issue for parents with small children. Other family members could tag photos of your child on the Internet. If a predator were to find pictures labeled with a location and a full name, he could gather enough information on your child to pose as a family friend in an attempt to lure your child from safety.

Whenever someone uses the "child predator" argument, my BS detector goes off. And this is coming from the father of two small children. My wife maintains a blog where she posts photos of our kids and information about what they (and we) have been up to. While I've been comfortable using my real name online for quite some time (see my Slashdot user name), my wife isn't as comfortable with it. So I've helped her keep many things anonymous including our and our childrens' names. I'm sure that a determined individual could track her blog back to my real name, but casual users will need to know us by our initials.

If you are that fearful that a predator will use online tools to stalk your child then:

1. Teach your child about Stranger Danger. (We're attempting to instill this into our 5 year old without having him shut down at the mere sight of a stranger. Yes, he did take it that far at first!)
2. Know what your child is doing online and offline at all times.
3. Don't post things online that you wouldn't want any old person seeing. (Doesn't stop others from posting that stuff online, but how many people post things to their MySpace pages then complain about other people knowing about the stuff.)

A predator could stake out the local playground and look for likely targets. This doesn't mean that you abandon all public playgrounds, but that you be smart about it.

Re:Oh bullshit (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864473)

This is why you raise your child with a "whitelist" concept of who is a family friend. That's how my parents did it, and how most people did it when I was growing up.

Indeed, same here. It's the other half of that most basic of messages you give your child on being safe: "Don't talk to strangers". I remember turning away a trusted family friend from the door when I was like four. Of course he wasn't mad, I was a kid who didn't trust strangers like I should. When I was a little older, they also added another level, which was a "pass phrase" I couldn't ever tell anyone, and they'd use if there was some emergency so they had to send someone to pick me up for whatever reason.

I don't trust Google, but give it a rest with the sex offender crap. If your kids fall prey to this, it's your fault, not Google's fault because you should have taught them to only trust "friends of the family" that you introduced them to.

Well like most sexual predator hysteria, this is yet another case where they ignore the most important (though sad and disturbing) fact which is: The vast majority of sexual predators are "friends of the family" if not family themselves, and thus don't need Google or anything else to find their victims.

Re:Oh bullshit (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864743)

It should also be noted that most (if not all, and especially pre-schools, since that's what I'm currently most familiar with) schools use this concept as well. You give the school a list of people that are permitted to pick up your child, and they don't let anyone else near your child.

They also had a list (usually a very short list, like the parents) of people they could call to authorize someone to pick up your child, and even if the person coming to pick up your child was on the whitelist they would call the people that could authorize a pick-up before letting the child out of the building.

At least I always felt comfortable knowing not only that I could stop by at any time and see that my child was ok, but also that only my wife could pick up my child without someone calling me or her to confirm that it was ok.

Interaction with Flickr and large porn collections (1)

evilsofa (947078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863849)

I am aware that Flickr is owned by Yahoo. I'm curious as to whether or not it is possible for this sort of Picasa tagging to spill over into Flickr. I'm also curious about the effect of the taggings of large porn collections (both pro and amateur) when these tags become public.

it doesn't match the back of your head? (1)

Briden (1003105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863857)

from TFA:

"There's no telling if the facial recognition technology will be able to accurately identify each person in a picture, but it does suffer from a setback that may annoy users: it works best when a person is facing the camera and will have trouble identifying them if they're not." .. no shit?

God I hope this works... (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863877)

My wife is:
1) a shutterbug
2) a packrat
3) totally disorganized

the ability to type in "find R3.0" and have it come up with all the pics of my son would make my life a lot easier.

Re:God I hope this works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864007)

R3.0? Is your son a robot?!

Re:God I hope this works... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864177)

Whoa, are you behind the times... somewhere in late 2007, naming children was no longer kewlies, now its Revision 1.0, 2.0, etc... so, I assume that, both of his previous kids had faulty programing.

Re:God I hope this works... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864215)

actually, it's my wife's terminology - apparently "[NAME]Sr.", "[NAME]Jr.", and "[NAME]III" were too long for online correspondence

Confused... (2, Insightful)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863915)

I can understand Picasa auto-tagging, that actually sounds like a nice feature. But why would this be a rights violation, or applicable to the YRO section at all? As long as you use Picasa as a picture album and don't let it integrate with web services automatically, you shouldn't have a problem. And if you do allow it to... maybe it's time to re-examine what information you entrust to a computer's discretion.

Re:Confused... (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864765)

I actually only use Picasa to sort my porn. Family photos are stored on another drive and Picasa isn't allowed to look at it.

Facial Recognition Licensed? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863919)

Facial recognition software is not trivial. Especially accurate facial recognition. I wonder if it is a licensed library.

Otherwise who cares? Seriously. If you think that Google is somehow the first to do this you would be very, very, wrong. This is water that went under the bridge a looong time ago at a national intelligence scale. Don't jump to the conclusion that it is used everywhere though... But understand that it has been commercially available to governments for a long time.

Not for Mac... still (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863947)

Sigh - Picasa is the one app that I really missed when I moved to a Mac. I loved it. And years later it's still Windows only...

Re:Not for Mac... still (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864301)

I thought you OSX guys could emulate everything in Windows so you'd never have to go back to MS to run your old programs. Or have I been horribly misled.

If I could port about 6 programs to Linux, I'd be tempted to switch the entire office to Ubuntu just to piss off Ballmer (not that he would care, but it's the thought that counts). I've already got a migration plan started to go from SBS2003 to Ubuntu (mail) and slackware (well, unRaid, but it's built on slackware). I use so little of 2003 it's not like I'm losing much.

Picasa is nothing short of revolutionary for photo management, imho. Since my wife is the one who will be doing most of the work, it's got to be dead simple. I have to deal with it, so it can't be fucking around with my file folder structure (brb...GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMNED KIDS...sorry). Now that I've had a chance to play with it, it's one of the programs I'd pay for (if it weren't free). I suppose you could say I'm paying for it with my privacy...

Re:Not for Mac... still (1)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864793)

I almost forgot, Picasa 2 runs GREAT under CrossOver Mac [codeweavers.com]. It's truly amazing how well it works. I wasn't willing to shell out the $60 just so I could use Picasa, but picasa and a few other apps ran great under the trial version. I might have to check it out again to see how well it works with Picasa 3.

The tagging, searching and organizing of photos under Picasa might be worth the bucks Crossover costs. Iphoto does a terrible job of organizing and tagging. Bibble is great for editing, but sucks entirely for organizing or searching. Actually, those features are non existent.

Write EXIF data? (1)

joshinson (1356947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863961)

It doesn't seem they yet support the ability to write EXIF data - which is important to me so that when I add metadata (such as date to scanned pictures) I don't get locked in to always using picasa in order to have that info. anybody can tell if they have/ have not got this working? (my windows machine is not easily accessible right now)

Re:Write EXIF data? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864685)

Yeah. I wonder about that. Which photo management software correctly writes the metadat back to the file? Picasa/ACDSee etc all seem to be blurry when doing this, as some data seems to move with the files and some seems to stick into the app.

How do you start the facial recognition feature? (3, Informative)

cojsl (694820) | more than 5 years ago | (#24863985)

How do you try this feature out? I RTFA, WVFYTV (*** you tube video), read the new feature page (which as far as I can see, doesn't mention this feature), did a few searches on the feature, then installed picasa 3 and fiddled with tagging photos, but no tag suggestions have come up. Can someone please enlighten me as to how this works?

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (4, Informative)

philgross (23409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864369)

Picasaweb (Google's photo-sharing website) does the facial recognition, not the Picasa application. On the Picasaweb site, you can opt-in to the facial recognition stuff, and it will bulk process your uploaded photos. To use it you have upload some photos to the web first, using the Picasa app.

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (1)

adam.jimenez (904480) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864427)

Picasaweb (Google's photo-sharing website) does the facial recognition, not the Picasa application. On the Picasaweb site, you can opt-in to the facial recognition stuff, and it will bulk process your uploaded photos. To use it you have upload some photos to the web first, using the Picasa app.

well that's useful for those like me that have too many photos to store online. why can't they do it offline - do u need some sort of supercomputer to work this shit out?

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864443)

Its only available in the web albums. You should see the option once you go to your picasa home page.

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (1)

YHCIR (1096163) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864467)

You can filter to "Show only photos with faces", button is to the left of the search bar.

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (4, Informative)

wolruf (30926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864519)

You have to modify Picasaweb settings to 'English US' then save/ok, go back to settings and now a 'Face tag' prefs exists

Re:How do you start the facial recognition feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864637)

http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=14605&hl=en_US

It is a feature of Picasa Web Albums apparently, which you can turn on or leave off in your settings.

Oh God, Privacy? Get over it. (4, Insightful)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864153)

Really? Privacy, a big concern because you can choose to download a piece of software that will attempt to recognize your face? Or *gasp* a friend could import a photo of you into said software? Without your written consent? The Horror! Won't somebody please think of the children!

You think I'm exaggerating, but TFA actually says:

This is also a larger issue for parents with small children. Other family members could tag photos of your child on the Internet. If a predator were to find pictures labeled with a location and a full name, he could gather enough information on your child to pose as a family friend in an attempt to lure your child from safety. What is Google's advice on keeping your children safe?

Now will you please explain to me how this is more of a concern than some random friend tagging said photos without the use of Google's software?
 
I'm all for privacy, but this seems like a white whale. Nobody's forcing you to use Picasa, and there's really nothing intrusive about this application of the technology. I think it's just the phrase, "Facial Recognition" that brings to mind images of big brother.
 
Let's try and do a better job of picking our battles.

Re:Oh God, Privacy? Get over it. (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864545)

You're right, that this is just a change in the level of effort to get public photos tagged. I agree that it's not something people should freak out over because it destroys their privacy.

That said, changes in the level of effort to do something make all the difference in the world. Before the internet, I could go to a library and read books, magazines & newspapers on a topic. I could send people snail mail or call them. Being able to use the internet to do these things trivially is a quantitative difference that makes a huge qualitative difference.

Privacy will be nonexistent for our children. Video cameras and internet connections will be dirt cheap, and sharing video on the web will be trivial. Software to automatically recognize what's being done, and who's doing it, will be ubiquitous. Searching that information will be easy. Stitching together multiple video feeds to build viewpoints where no physical camera existed and continuous video when no single camera viewed all the action will be done for you, transparently.

People will mark up video and people with their thoughts & comments.

Everything you do that's visible from a public place, and most things you do anywhere else, will be common knowledge. Get used to it; it's unavoidable.

Re:Oh God, Privacy? Get over it. (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864599)

I might be misunderstanding how this works but I think the problem people have is that pictures and the resulting "fingerprints" end up in Google's database rather than just on your computer. This does seem to have the potential for misuse. Remember, you're not the only one who has pictures of you.

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864207)

The technology exists. It's out of the bag. It doesn't matter if Google does it -- if they don't, someone else will.

You have to assume that in a couple of years, someone can take a phone cam picture of you on the street and use it to trace you back to a Facebook page (or whatever). Or that the police can trace you back to your DMV photo.

If you can't handle that, stop posting pictures of yourself in a way that allows someone to tie them to your real name. And take down the ones that are already up there.

This is inevitable.

Re:Missing the point (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864315)

Agreed, this is the direction we're heading, or at least this is the capability our technology is going to give us.

Perhaps I'll miss one or two, but off the top of my head, our options are:
1) Try to stop developing tech entirely (goodluckwiththat)
2) Try to get private citizens not able to use this tech, and only allow government access to it (shutter)
3) Allow as much access as the tech itself will allow and monitor and restrict government usage (the option that seems to make the most sense to me)

As a previous poster said, if you don't like it, don't post your picture online... or perhaps you can use some kind of scrambling or anonymizing tool which will inevitably be developed by concerned citizens.

Re:Missing the point (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864333)

If you can't handle that, stop posting pictures of yourself in a way that allows someone to tie them to your real name. And take down the ones that are already up there.

Except for the ones at your school or corporate site, already helpfully tagged with your name.
It is, as you say, out of the bag already.

I have twenty sharp knives... (1)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864393)

I have twenty sharp knives in my kitchen drawer. The idea and capacity for rape and murder are latent within me, but does that mean I should act upon them?

Just because this technology exists or its existence is "inevitable", does that mean anything? Is it not the use of technology, the action itself that we must consider?

What I miss .. (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864347)

..about moving to mac land is the lack of a Picasa variant native to os x. I know, I know, there is iPhoto, Aperture, etc. But what Picasa did so well was scan my server for any additions/deletions of photos. It was brainless. Something I still cannot believe has been implemented in the mac photo programs.

Better way to breathe life into this app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864445)

"Either way, it's nice to see Google pull Picasa out of the doldrums and breathe some life into it. "

You know what Picasa could have used more than facial recognition -- Mac support. That would breathe real life into it.

Disappointed already (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864629)

I work at a sewage treatment plant, so needless to say, I was VERY excited about this release right until I realized it said that *faces* are recognized. Bummer. So I guess I'll have to wait until version 4 to get my taxonomy project underway.

Still no Linux support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864779)

running under wine does the job, but when are we going to see a real native linux port?

If not even google takes linux seriously enough to port its main applications (picasa, gtalk, still no chrome out while ff can roll out the builds for both platforms evenly), no wonder linux still does not cut it for the desktop for average users :(

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