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Google’s Photo Sharing Service Can Learn Face Recognition

The Google face-recognition system ties into Picasa Web Albums. Picasa is Google’s online photo-sharing Web site that is winning raves for its accuracy. While the program isn’t perfect, it’s a step forward.

For instance, instead of spending hours sifting through thousands of badly computer file names, the program can organize your photos by faces. It could sort pictures of Mom and Dad by category instead of computer file names that might not make much sense. This is called photo facial recognition.

Google Picasa had 3.4 percent share of the online photo market in August. The service ranks number 5 overall. The market leader is Photobucket which has 34.7 percent share.

Google also offers a desktop photo-editing application with Picasa. It allows faster uploads and name tagging. The pictures are then grouped accordingly based on the face recognition. The photos are also sorted by totals for each group.

The new technology can also let users create an instant slideshow for viewing. Users can create specific slideshows based on friends or family.

Even so, the service does raise privacy concerns among tech bloggers. Google has been a frequent target of criticism. Some users do not like the face tagging feature because then Google knows what terms people are searching for and what their family and friends look like.

However, Google says the tagging feature is an option. People who choose not to use the tagging to turn it off.