AI Company Scraped 30 Billion Facebook Photos So Cops Can Facial ID Anyone

Face Disgrace Clearview AI, the company behind a widely-used facial recognition technology that has already led American police to charge innocent people with crimes they didn’t commit — claims to have scraped 30 billion Facebook photos in order to train its AI algorithm, according to comments that CEO Hoan Ton-That provided to the BBC last week. And if that’s not enough, Ton-That said in that same interview that US law enforcement agencies — 3,100 of which, as Engadget reports, have used the database — have apparently used that algorithm to perform nearly one million searches. To put that 30 billion figure in perspective: as of last quarter last year, Facebook had roughly 2.94 billion active monthly users. So, even with bots taken into consideration, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of faces in that database, scraped without the explicit knowledge of Facebook users — and, as Facebook tells it, without permission by the social media giant, either. In fact, Facebook has already sent Clearview at least one cease-and-desist. “Clearview AI’s actions invade people’s privacy,” a Meta spokesperson told Insider in an email, “which is why we banned their founder from our services and sent them a legal demand to stop accessing any data, photos, or videos from our services.” Panopticon Air For his part, Ton-That says that everything Clearview does is perfectly fine. Helpful, even! “Clearview AI’s database of publicly available images is lawfully collected, just like any other search engine like Google,” the CEO told Insider. “Clearview AI’s database…AI Company Scraped 30 Billion Facebook Photos So Cops Can Facial ID Anyone

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