mr crypto writes: Microsoft, Google and Facebook in the last month said they are developing systems to monitor users on mobile devices and web sites. They would become the middle man between between users and marketers, using mechanisms more sophisticated than cookies to provide finer grained information. From the article: "The Silicon Valley trio, which produce browsers, email services and operating systems used by billions across many devices, are positioned to potentially learn far more about people's activities than cookies ever could."
mr crypto writes: From Wired: With the “Remote Human Demographic Characterization” challenge, the Air Force is looking for descriptions of a system “that can determine approximate age (adult, teen, child) and gender of small groups of people at a distance.” The challenge “requires a written proposal only.” So if your idea works and you can get the technical details right, you could walk away with $20,000.
(And of course the government would only ever use this on other people...)