Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.
 (18 Jan)

The Metropolitan Police Service announced on Friday, 24 January, that it will begin the operational use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology.The use of live facial recognition technology will be intelligence-led and deployed to specific locations in London. This will help tackle serious crime, including serious violence, gun and knife crime, child sexual exploitation and help protect the vulnerable. (24 Jan)

Clearview has been touting a “rapid international expansion” to prospective clients using a map that highlights how it either has expanded, or plans to expand, to at least 22 more countries, some of which have committed human rights abuses. (8 Feb)

What’s more, Clearview’s system suffers the same shortcomings as other facial recognition systems: It’s not as good at interpreting black and brown faces as it is for whites. The company claims that its search is accurate across “all demographic groups,” but the ACLU vehemently disagrees. (22 Feb)


This Is the Ad Clearview AI Used to Sell Your Face to Police
 (11 Mar)

Clearview met with individuals from many of Silicon Valley’s most notable firms, among them Kleiner Perkins and Greylock Partners. A Greylock Partners spokesperson said a firm staffer met Ton-That at “a defense industry dinner” in late 2018 and was given a demo account that was sparsely used. Greylock is not an investor in the company, they said. A Kleiner Perkins spokesperson did not respond to an email request for comment.
 (11 Mar)

Cam-Hoan Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists. Some members of this alt-right cabal went on to work for Ton-That. (7 Apr)

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