Facial recognition technologies have been the subject of many debates and concerns about privacy since their inception.
Recognition solutions like Clearview's have become the pet peeve of many citizens, as they open the door to global recognition without the permission of those involved.
The Clearview company rose to fame when its use in law enforcement departments, government agencies, and businesses around the world was revealed.
At the start of 2020, the company also reported that it had 3 billion images in its database.
During this revelation, and in the face of popular discontent, Google notably came forward to demand that the recovery of images on its services be stopped and that images already recorded be deleted.
This doesn't seem to have been very effective, as Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview, recently claimed that the company now has a database of 10 billion photos collected online.
Big Brother is watching you
In addition to the announcement of this gigantic database, the CEO of Clearview also claimed that the company now has the necessary technologies to increase the sharpness of blurry images and recompose faces hidden by masks.
Using machine learning models, the system would be able to generate the missing details of the photos.
Some people are already pointing to the biases and false accusations that these “fills” could create.
Hoan Ton-That demonstrated how technology works by taking a photo of a journalist using his smartphone.
Clearview immediately produced dozens of images from multiple sites showing that same person, along with their personal contact details, through photos accumulated over more than a decade.
Our dossier on facial recognition
With the evolution and democratization of these technologies, it seems important to quickly regulate this type of monitoring tool.
Last April, 51 organizations called for a ban on facial recognition in Europe.
Debates about the dangers and legitimacy of these technologies are therefore likely to continue for a long time to come.
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