Originally posted on Vox by Rebecca Heilweil

The world’s scariest facial recognition company, explained

How would you like it if anyone armed with an iPhone could figure out a slew of information about you, pull up any Facebook or Instagram picture you’ve ever been in, and see any other image of you that’s been posted publicly online?

This scenario appears to be possible thanks to a shady startup called Clearview AI which, as a New York Times investigation earlier this year revealed, has been mining your pictures online to build a vast facial recognition database. At first, Clearview AI maintained that its tool was only meant to be used by law enforcement and a few private companies. But it later became clear that the company has consistently misrepresented both the extent of its work and the breadth of its aspirations. Now the company seems to be reversing its position, again.

This is concerning. Facial recognition is an incredibly powerful tool, and Clearview’s tech is trafficking in highly personal information — including, potentially, yours. (If you’re a resident of California or the European Union, feel free to request the data Clearview has on you here, but note you’ll likely need to send them a copy of government-issued photo ID.)…

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