I believe the $3\times3$ inequalities were first exploited by Kreĭn and Weil, who wrote
$$
\begin{align}
\bigl|\,Q(g) - Q(h)\,\bigr|
&\leqslant \sqrt{2\mathrm{Re}\bigl(1 - Q(g^{-1} h)\bigr)},
\tag K\\[1ex]
\bigl|\,Q(gh) - Q(g)Q(h)\,\bigr|
&\leqslant \sqrt{1 - |Q(g)|{}^2}\sqrt{1 - |Q(h)|{}^2}.
\tag W
\end{align}
$$
in (1940), resp. (1940, p. 57). I stated them for any positive-definite function $Q$ on any group (written multiplicatively, as none of this requires Bochner’s commutative setting), but normalized $Q(e)=1$; else rescale by $Q(e)$, which (as you noted) is nonnegative by the $1\times1$ case.

Kreĭn’s $(\mathrm K)$ says that $Q$ is uniformly continuous everywhere as soon as it’s continuous at $e$, and I like to think of Weil’s $(\mathrm W)$ as a group version of Heisenberg’s uncertainty inequalities. Deducing them from positive-definiteness is not so obvious: $(\mathrm W)$ is a rearrangement of the determinant criterion
$$
\begin{vmatrix}
1&Q(a^{-1}b)&Q(a^{-1}c)\\
\overline{Q(a^{-1}b)}&1&Q(b^{-1}c)\\
\overline{Q(a^{-1}c)}&\overline{Q(b^{-1}c)}&1
\end{vmatrix}
\geqslant0,
\tag{$*$}
$$
written with $g=a^{-1}b$ and $h=b^{-1}c$; and proving $(\mathrm K)$ from $(\mathrm W)$ alone is possible but not very enlightening. I prefer to observe that positive-definiteness of $Q$ means positive-definiteness of the sesquilinear form $(c,d)\mapsto Q(c^*\cdot d)$ on the group *-algebra $\mathbf C[G]=$ {functions $c:G\to\mathbf C$ with finite support} where product, *-operation, and linear form $Q$ are defined on the basis of (Kronecker) $\delta^g$’s by
$$
\delta^g\cdot\delta^h=\delta^{gh},
\qquad
(\delta^g)^*=\delta^{g^{-1}},
\qquad
Q(\delta^g) = Q(g).
$$
Then $(\mathrm K)$ and $(\mathrm W)$ are just the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality
$$
|Q(c^*\cdot d)|^2\leqslant Q(c^*\cdot c)Q(d^*\cdot d),
$$
written out for $(c^*,d) = (\delta^e,\delta^g-\delta^h)$, resp. $(\delta^g-Q(g)\delta^e,\delta^h-Q(h)\delta^e)$.

(Which *triples* give $(\mathrm K)$ and $(\mathrm W)$ can then be found by remembering that Cauchy-Schwarz amounts to writing $Q(f^*\cdot f)\geqslant 0$ where $f=Q(c^*\cdot c)d-Q(c^*\cdot d)c$. Hewitt-Ross (1970, pp. 255, 289) have another proof, and the attribution to Kreĭn & Weil. It might be interesting to know if the $4\times4$ version of $(*)$ has some nice consequences...?)

fixedn? So I think your $f$ is Wikipedia's $Q$? $\endgroup$ – Matthew Daws Apr 26 '12 at 13:40