Have you ever had a moment of paranoia just before posting a photo of yourself (or your kid) on social media?
Maybe you felt a vague sense of unease about making the photo public. Or maybe the nebulous thought occurred to you: “What if someone used this for something?” Perhaps you just had a nagging feeling that sharing an image of yourself made you vulnerable, and opened you up to some unknowable, future threat.
It turns out that your fears were likely justified. Someone really has been monitoring nearly everything you post to the public internet. …
Months before facial recognition company Clearview AI was on the front page of the New York Times, the company was quietly advertising to police departments across the country, emails obtained by OneZero show.
Clearview AI emailed advertisements to police departments in August 2019 with the subject line “How To Solve Crimes Instantly With Face Search Technology,” using the Fraternal Order of Police’s online platform FOPConnect.
“Clearview is like Google Search for faces,” the ad copy reads. “It only takes one photo of a suspect’s face, one quick tap on your cell phone or computer, and one second of search time…
Clearview AI worked to build a national database of every mug shot taken in the United States during the past 15 years, according to an email obtained by OneZero through a public records request.
The email, sent by a representative for Clearview AI in August 2019, was in response to an inquiry from the Green Bay Police Department in Wisconsin, which had asked if there was a way to upload its own mug shots to Clearview AI’s app.
“We are… working to acquire all U.S. mugshots nationally from the last 15 years, so once we have that integrated in a…
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