Yes, Picasa's facial recognition software is a grade 2 event ...It took a day or so, but a lot of faces are recognized. The tagging UI is excellent. I was joking about the Google Profile, but I wasn't far off. Google matches tags against one's Gmail contacts and attaches email addresses in the tags.
Gordon's Notes: Singularity alert: Picasa web album face tagging
... Yeah, we all knew it was coming, but it's creepy-cool anyway. Not quite goose bumps, but a grade 2 singularity event. (Grade 7 is when the Great God Google refers you to your soylent green processing station, Grade 1 is personalized search.)
So will Google link the faces to the appropriate Google Profile? You just know they've got that one on their social networking strategy. (So how do kids get their profiles? Is it like Confirmation?)
I love it. Now if there were only some way to sync the tags back to iPhoto ...
I'll report on my tech blog after I try it. I'm sure the servers will be smoking tonight, so it'll take a few days. (Update: yeah, it's pegged. Stuck at 44% of faces.)..
Now we need to sync the tags back to iPhoto. This really needs to be in the next version of everyone's photo management software.
Privacy? Hah. That's strictly for the impoverished and the ultra-rich.