A software company, Clearview AI, that sells it facial recognition software to Government and Private organizations has accumulated BILLIONS of images from social media and websites.
Australian Hoan Ton-That has developed the AI driven software to scour its database of billions of images scraped off Social Media sites. It claims if you upload a photo there is 98.6% accuracy in matching that photo to its database.
It will then return data on where and when the matches were found. Names, Locations, attached messages and comments etc are reported to the user. So if you had a post on twitter saying for example you are Pro Trump, chances are this database holds that information linked to your facial image.
Law enforcement has been using Facial recognition software for a while now, to help hunt criminals all over the world.
Critics say there is debate on how accurate the software is amongst Ethnic races, children and women.
Clearviews technology is not new, but its selling point is the huge database it has accrued by pulling images off YouTube, Facebook, Venmo and many other social media sites and websites without their permission. So uploading a photo of an individual will show their public presence with links to where that data came from.
In just the US alone, there are over 300 federal, state and local agencies using this software.
The software will recognise you even if you change your appearance with glasses, a beard or change of hairstyle.
Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have all filed requests for the company to delete all its collected data from their sites.
Clearview state that they only sell the software to Government agencies, however after a leaked document came to light, private corporations were discovered on their client list. In addition there have been multiple security breaches discovered exposing a weak cybersecurity system for a company holding personal sensitive data.
The European Data Protection Board has already stated that using Clearview within the EU does not comply with European data protection regulations.
With plans announced by the company to sell the software outside of the US, British and Australian authorities have launched investigations into the company regarding their own data protection policies.
In the US Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated “Clearview’s technology is a real nightmare scenario. They have amassed a database of more than 3 billion face prints of people from around this country without consent, without telling us. And they are using it to market an incredibly dangerous tool to police, to private corporations, and private individuals to track and follow and surveil us. We’re in a profound moment of protest against racial injustice and police abuses. The last thing we need is this dangerous technology welded as a tool to identify and track us around the world. The ACLU has already sued the facial recognition startup for violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), stating the firm has unlawfully amassed and stored data on Illinois citizens without their cognition or consent and then made money off it by selling its software to law enforcement and private corporations”
Clearview maintained it was only selling the software to Law enforcement in the US and Canada. However from the leaked client list it has been ascertained that Spain, Switzerland, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Latvia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom’s law enforcement and private agencies are using the system.
Share on your Social Networks