There’s a new app that will allow you to learn all the info you need to know about a person just by taking a picture of them.
Imagine a stranger walking up to you, snapping a picture, and then walking away with information about where you live, as well as your name? Well, that’s what the new startup app, Clearview, plans to do for its users. The app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the nation, including the FBI, according to a report from The New York Times.
Times reports that the app uses technology to compare photos in a database of more than 3 billion photos, which are taken from Facebook, Venmo, YouTube, and other sites that people use for online profiles. Once it has face matches, it sends links to corresponding websites where the pictures were originally dug up. CNET reports the Clearview app has a more sophisticated database than the FBI’s, which can find driver’s license photos, passports and has over 641 million images of U.S. citizens.
But don’t worry, the app isn’t accessible to the public just yet. However, investors and authority figures believe it’s coming sooner than we think. Officers have used the app to solve various crimes like shoplifting, child sexual exploitation, and even murder. However, privacy advocates think the app is pushing the limits of personal safety and could wrongly match people. Advocates also mentioned that facial recognition technologies can be used to conduct mass surveillance.
While some states haven’t made a decision on the regulation of facial recognition, many states like San Francisco have banned its use, but there are currently no federal laws on the matter. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee held its third hearing on facial recognition, “We’re going to have to really grapple with what are the parameters of protecting privacy and controlling the use of this technology,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly at the hearing. Legislators are currently discussing facial recognition being used within private companies and government agencies.
Would you use it?