This Robust Face Recognition Software Is Legal In Michigan
Michigan law enforcement maybe secretly using this software without us knowing. Why should we be worried?
There is now a face recognition software that is circulating through local law enforcement agencies all the way up to the FBI. This software will compare a picture uploaded by the police to billions of images from all over the internet. In fact, this software called Clearview AI can find pictures of you on the internet that you don't even know exist.
For example, you could be walking in the background of someone's selfie and boom, you're found.
You're a law abiding citizen right? Why should this matter? As long as you're not a criminal you have nothing to worry about.
The New York Times recently broke this story when asking those very questions. In their podcast "The Daily," Producer Annie Brown found the company was using a fake address. She also found that the company would not allow police to do a search for her name. Clearview AI allegedly blocked the New York Times reporter and banned the law enforcement agencies that searched her name for her. Which shows that someone at the software company can dictate what results the police can and can not see. Those are some pretty big red flags right from the beginning.
What if China or Russia hack this software? All of the sudden, the fact that you are a law abiding citizen doesn't matter if a 'bad actor' is able to manipulate the results. Furthermore, what if you are at a protest and your government wants to send a message? There seem to be many "what ifs" the companies CEO, Hoan Ton-That, hasn't considered or just didn't have a clear answer for.
Clearly this software has a valuable use according to The New York Times,
Federal and state law enforcement officers said that while they had only limited knowledge of how Clearview works and who is behind it, they had used its app to help solve shoplifting, identity theft, credit card fraud, murder and child sexual exploitation cases.
But at what cost?
YouTube, Facebook, Venmo and Twitter told CBS News that the action of "scraping," which is how this company grabs images for its software, is against their policies.
At this time there is no way to know if the Michigan State Police or the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety use this software according to the New York Times,
...without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year, according to the company, which declined to provide a list.
What do you think of this software and it's use? Is this a good thing or a massive invasion of privacy?
The only state that has banned the use of Clearview IA so far is New Jersey.