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June 14 2013
A world filled with mobile devices capable of instantly recognizing anyone's face can seem both empowering and scary. It's empowering because ordinary consumers can expect to eventually wield such power in their handheld and wearable devices; it's scary because the government, corporations and strangers on the street could use the same devices.
The merest hint of such a future prompted eight members of the U.S. Congress to help pressure Google into blocking facial-recognition technology on its "Google Glass" smart glasses. But for years, the technology has already helped law enforcement and casinos to identify wanted -- or unwanted -- individuals captured on surveillance cameras. Facial-recognition capability has also begun appearing on the smartphones of police officers and even ordinary consumers.
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