As if social media wasn’t already scary when it comes to personal privacy, enter a company called Clearview AI.
The company’s tech scans the faces of people in a single picture, and from there, compares them to three billion images available on social media to determine names, addresses, phone numbers and other details, all from just the seemingly innocent photo.
The New York Times reports Clearview has helped the FBI and other law enforcement agencies sniff out criminals, since its photo database “dwarfs” those to which investigators have access. That’s pretty amazing, considering the FBI has access to 641 million faces, thanks to passport and driver’s licenses photos.
While the Clearview app isn’t available to the public, it could be in the future, the paper notes. That rings all sorts of alarm bells with privacy advocates who fear the tech’s use not only for mass government surveillance, but also cyberstalking by anyone with the app and a phone.