Clearview AI, the controversial facial recognition software used by at least 3,100 law enforcement agencies in the United States, has removed more than 30 billion images from social media platforms like Facebook. CEO Hoan Ton-That shared the stat in a recent interview with (via ) where he also said the company had performed nearly a million searches for US police.
Last March, Clearview its database contained over 20 billion “publicly available” images, meaning the platform has grown by a staggering 50% in the past year. While Engadget cannot confirm these numbers, they suggest that the company, despite recent setbacks at the hands of groups like the And no lack of interest in his services.
In a rare admission, the Miami Police Department revealed that it uses Clearview AI to investigate all kinds of crimes, including everything from theft to murder. Deputy Police Chief Armando Aguilar said the force used the technology about 450 times a year. “We don’t make an arrest because an algorithm tells us to,” he said. BBC News. “Either we put this name in a photographic line-up or we solve the case through traditional means.”
Ton-Ca said BBC News he was unaware of any instance where Clearview mistakenly identified anyone. It is difficult to verify this claim due to a lack of data and transparency regarding the use of facial recognition technology. For example, in the recent , a black man who was falsely accused of theft in a state he had never visited, it is unclear whether police obtained the false match that led to the arrest using Clearview AI or MorphoTrak, a competing facial recognition system. Ton-That said the wrongful arrests are the result of “poor policing”.
A handful of US cities, including And , have passed legislation limiting police and government use of facial recognition technologies. Federal action on the subject has been slow. In 2021, a group of 20 lawmakers led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) , a bill that seeks to ban law enforcement and intelligence agencies from buying data from Clearview. However, the legislation has not yet been adopted.
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