Nearly 20 police agencies in 18 countries were offered a free facial recognition program by Clearview AI, the cloud-based company, which seemed to give up on making money after raising $37 million from investors. Police used the facial recognition scans to catch suspected drug traffickers, bank robbers and sex offenders, reports CNN.
“We knew the technology would not help us validate a traffic stop,” one police chief, from Trinidad and Tobago, said. But “if you’re looking for a missing child, or any other missing persons, it could certainly help out.”
Some international officials have raised concerns about privacy, reports CNN. Although Clearview is headquartered in the United States, it uses international servers to detect suspicious activity across borders. Its majority owners, Blink Inc. and Gogobot, offer similar facial recognition services.
The companies claim that they don’t track who you are in real time. “We don’t see you because we don’t have to,” Blink CEO Scott Thompson said in the CNN story. “We don’t have a tracking system, so they think we don’t know you.”
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