A startup called Clearview AI has made an app that can discover your name, address, and other details just from your picture. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US, including the FBI, already use the app. This is according to a Saturday report in The New York Times.
The subject could just be going about their daily business like eating lunch or shopping for groceries and someone else is accessing their details. This is worrying as if it gets into the hands of the wrong person.
The New York Times reports that the app works by comparing a photo to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it’s taken off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites.
It will then provide a match and links to the sites where those database photos were originally posted. After this, discovering a name will be easy and from there other information about the subject could be unearthed online.
Clearview’s database is bigger than those of law enforcement agencies. To get an idea, the FBI’s database is one of the largest, with over 641 million images of US citizens. It taps its information from passport and driver’s license photos
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The Clearview app currently isn’t available to the public, however, the New York Times says police officers and Clearview investors believe it will be in the future. This will honestly be worrying and raises questions of privacy concerns.
Advocates warn the criminals could use Clearview app
Law enforcement officers say that the app is helpful in solving crimes from shoplifting to child s****l exploitation to murder.
Privacy advocates, however, warn that the app could return false matches to police and that it could also be used by stalkers and criminal minds. They’ve also alerted authorities that facial recognition technologies, in general, could be used to conduct mass surveillance.
Regulation of facial recognition technology is at the moment undergoing a lot of debate in the United States. Some cities, including San Francisco, have banned the use of the technology. However, there aren’t any federal laws at the moment.
The European Union currently is considering banning the technology is public places for up to five years in order to perfect it from abuse. the exemption to the ban could be for security projects as well as research and development.
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