Forget your carbon footprint — you now need to worry about your digital footprint. Police around the country, the FBI, the Homeland Security Department (DHS), and thousands of government agencies are among the clients of Clearview AI, which uses artificial intelligence to scrape the internet and create profiles on every single person with the smallest digital footprint.
Police and over 3,100 U.S. government agencies reportedly use Clearview AI’s facial recognition database to track criminals, according to an April report from Business Insider. But shoplifters and child abusers aren’t the only people who have to be afraid. Business Insider said that Clearview AI cited individuals accused as part of the controversial events of Jan. 6, 2021, as “rioters” it could identify.
About a thousand Americans have been arrested in connection with Jan. 6, some for no more than being on the Capitol grounds, which were usually open to the public, sending an angry text, or peacefully walking about inside the Capitol and chatting with law enforcement. With the FBI’s blatant political bias now, who else could be in danger of identification and targeting through Clearview AI data?
”Clearview AI scraped 30 billion images from Facebook and other social media sites and gave them to cops,” Business Insider said. And companies like Google and Microsoft are in a huge rush to expand the use of AI.
The FBI under Biden has targeted Donald Trump, his allies, pro-lifers, traditional Catholics, parents who express concern about school curriculum, and Americans expressing free speech online. What if a tweet from five years ago criticizing transgenderism could be weaponized as proof of extremism by the FBI? Or a photo of you wearing a MAGA hat in 2016?
It sounds crazy, but parents who objected to woke propaganda in schools were targeted by the FBI using terrorism laws, and the FBI plants in Catholic churches are supposedly looking for domestic terrorists. Clearview AI’s profiles could easily become a dangerous weapon against political opponents in the hands of U.S. government agencies.
Even those without social media profiles who show up in others’ photos have profiles with Clearview AI, Business Insider noted. “Photos can come from anywhere on the web.” It got so bad that even Facebook, which has a record of trampling Americans’ First Amendment rights, objected to Clearview AI’s scraping.
[Once] a photo has been scraped by Clearview AI, biometric face prints are made and cross-referenced in the database, tying the individuals to their social media profiles and other identifying information forever — and people in the photos have little recourse to try to remove themselves…
The risk of being included in what is functionally a “perpetual police line-up” applies to everyone, including people who think they have nothing to hide, Matthew Guariglia, a senior policy analyst for the international non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Fund, told Insider.
Guariglia warned that women who had abortions could be retroactively targeted. I have yet to hear of Oklahoma or Texas hunting down women who previously had abortions, but the hunt for Jan. 6 “insurrectionists” quickly spiraled out of control. Either way, whether you’re leftist, conservative, or independent, you should be worried that police and the federal government have access to this AI-created database.
Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That did reportedly admit in a recent interview that his company took pictures without users’ knowledge or permission. Business Insider said that “the relationships between law enforcement and Clearview AI remain murky.” According to Ton-That, U.S. police have accessed the Clearview database almost a million times since 2017. That doesn’t include federal government agencies.
If you thought the federal government was already being weaponized against innocent Americans, that’s nothing to what could happen with technology like Clearview AI.