Google's quietly pitter-pattering its acquisitive ways back into the controversial realm of facial recognition technology. To do that, the company busted out its oversized wallet to fold Pittsburgh-based PittPatt into the Mountain View borg. Founded by a trio of PhD's from Carnegie Mellon University, this three-man strong outfit specializes in the sort of object recognition software you've come to know as "tagging." Is this a reversal of the Do No Evil tech giant's prior waffling on the dubious visioning tech, or just another massive weapon in its social networking crusade against Facebook? We'd err on the side of both, although the company's new employees aren't exactly playing their cards for us to see. A brief statement on the triumvirate's site makes vague mention of "computer vision technology" being core to Google's products and points to the tech's planned integration in photo, video and mobile applications. So, basically, expect to see Picasa, Goggles, YouTube and Google+ watch you as you flaunt your internet celebrity ways to that front-facing camera.

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Google acquires PittPatt, wants to know you on a face-to-face basis