AI is selling your Photo identity

I’m not terribly surprised by this, but it’s still really important to understand how our photos are used, without our consent, on the internet and how it’s being mined for your identity. I’ve decided that any student in my classes (Prof. Worsfold, that is) that can show me they’ve had their data removed from Clearview before May (copy of both your request and the resulting response from clearview) will get extra credit toward their grade… so you get to keep your privacy, learn how California’s privacy rules work, AND get bonus points in class. What’s not to like?

Tech by VICE

Here’s the File Clearview AI Has Been Keeping on Me, and Probably on You Too

by Anna Merlan

We used the California Consumer Privacy Act to see what information the controversial facial recognition company has collected on me.

After a recent, extensive, and rather withering bout of bad press, the facial recognition company Clearview AI has changed its homepage, which now touts all the things it says its technology can do, and a few things it can’t. Clearview’s system, the company says, is “an after-the-fact research tool. Clearview is not a surveillance system and is not built like one. For example, analysts upload images from crime scenes and compare them to publicly available images.” In doing so, it says, it has the power to help its clients—which include police departments, ICE, Macy’s, Walmart, and the FBI…

What goes unsaid here is that Clearview claims to do these things by building an extremely large database of photos of ordinary U.S. citizens, who are not accused of any wrongdoing, and making that database searchable for the thousands of clients to whom it has already sold the technology. I am in that database, and you probably are too.

If you live in California, under the rules of the newly enacted California Consumer Privacy Act, you can see what Clearview has gathered on you, and request that they stop it.

I recently did just that. In mid-January, I emailed and requested information on any of my personal data that Clearview obtained, the method by which they obtained it, and how it was used. (You can read the guidelines they claim to follow under the CCPA here.) I also asked that all said data be deleted after it was given to me and opted out of Clearview’s data collection systems in the future…


“You may have forgotten about the photos you uploaded to a then-popular social media site ten or fifteen years ago… but Clearview hasn’t,” Riana Pfefferkorn, associate director of surveillance and cybersecurity at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, wrote in an email. “A lot of data about individuals can quickly become ‘stale’ and thus low-value by those seeking to monetize it. Jobs, salaries, addresses, phone numbers, those all change. But photos are different: your face doesn’t go stale.”

To finish reading this article and find out how to delete YOUR images from the Clearview Database, check out this link:

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