Clearview AI, a facial recognition firm, has carried out almost one million searches for US police. The technology, which has raised concerns over privacy breaches, allows law enforcement officials to upload a suspect’s photo and compare it to the billions of images in the company’s database. In an interview with the BBC, Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That stated that the company had scraped 30 billion images from sites like Facebook without user consent.
While Clearview AI has been fined several times for privacy breaches in Europe and Australia, US police are still using its software. Matthew Guaragilia from the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the use of Clearview AI’s technology turns everyone into a “perpetual police line-up”. Miami Police uses the software for all types of crime, not just serious or violent ones, according to Assistant Chief of Police Armando Aguilar. Nonetheless, there are numerous documented cases of mistaken identity using facial recognition by the police. Civil rights campaigners are calling for more transparency and scrutiny around the use of facial recognition technology, including the testing of its accuracy in court by independent experts.