When 10 billion images is not enough
Clearview AI is a face recognition company that has quietly collected billions of images from social media and other websites on the Internet, to develop a product that will allow you to instantly find all the images on which a particular face appears. They offered a service that would allow you to send a face-to-face image, and Clearview AI would send any image that is posted online and scratched in their systems.
The system was quietly used by law enforcement agencies to build a profile of people of interest, but also private companies and individuals willing to pay for the service. That changed in 2020 when the New York Times published a report on Clearview AI and their practice of collecting images without permission. At the time, the company was looking for more than three billion images in its database, prompting Twitter, Facebook, Google and other companies to send suspension and cancellation orders, which Clearview ignored, saying they were protected by the First Amendment despite a lack of government interventions at the time,
Since then, privacy advocates have only worsened as several data breaches occurred in 2020, and attackers accessed the Clearview database and probably shared it. There have also been a number of lawsuits in the U.S. that have prevented various police agencies from using facial recognition software. Among the reasons they cited was that Clearview AI’s 98.6% accuracy claim, based on the methodology used by the ACLU to test Amazon’s re-ignition, was wrong because the ACLU reviewed the tests used and found that they were nothing like their actual tests.
There have been several updates today, not only that their database actually consists of over 10 billion images, and now the AI can search them to get instant results. In their demonstration, they took a photo of the reporter and immediately got the results from the last decade of pictures on the Internet in which the reporter appeared. The history of covert behavior and open lying by Clearview AI, their founders, police departments and other customers of the company only make these new developments even more worrying.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.