Black Eye BiometricsIs the high profile use of facial recognition by a couple of police departments giving biometrics a black eye? Just a couple of weeks ago, protestors gained international attention when they demonstrated against the use of security cameras and facial recognition in a tourist neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. Visionics Corp. and its FaceIt biometrics technology are getting plenty of face time: first at the Super Bowl where FaceIt allegedly identified people from a "wanted" database but no arrests were ever made and then in the 16-block Ybor City area of Tampa. While most everyone agrees that people should not expect privacy in a public place, it's also obvious that the attention.
Keep on Truckin' with TrackingThe hot mix of global positioning and two-way wireless communication is just picking up more speed. The latest splash:
Satellite Security Systems (S3) of North America uses Motorola's reflex two-way, GPS, client Internet access and a proprietary monitoring and support center to track mobile assets. The systems also allow end users to obtain information such as speed, direction of travel, longitude and latitude of vehicles as well as remotely control functions of a vehicle. S3 wants to spread its technology to individual consumers so mom and pop can track a teenage son or an old-age relative. There are also some significant hurdles. For example, there are plenty of places near and far where a truck or grandpa would be out of range of wireless communications. And then there's the bad press: a car rental agency is under investigation for charging customers fees for speeding as determined by its vehicle tracking system.