Today, I’m talking to Kashmir Hill, a New York Times reporter whose new book, Your Face Belongs to Us: A Secretive Startup’s Quest to End Privacy as We Know It, chronicles the story of Clearview AI, a company that’s built some of the most sophisticated facial recognition and search technology that’s ever existed. As Kashmir reports, you simply plug a photo of someone into Clearview’s app, and it will find every photo of that person that’s ever been posted on the internet. It’s breathtaking and scary.
Kashmir was the journalist who broke the first story about Clearview’s existence, starting with a bombshell investigation report that blew the doors open on the company’s clandestine operations. Over the past few years, she’s been relentlessly reporting on Clearview’s growth, the privacy implications of facial recognition technology, and all of the cautionary tales that inevitably popped up, from wrongful arrests to billionaires using the technology for personal vendettas. The book is fantastic. If you’re a Decoder listener, you’re going to love it, and I highly recommend it.
--- [The secretive company that may end privacy as we know it] (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html)
--- [What we learned about Clearview AI and its secret ‘co-founder’] (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/technology/clearview-facial-recognition-ai.html)
--- [Clearview AI does well in another round of facial recognition accuracy tests] (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/technology/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-accuracy.html)
--- [hiQ and LinkedIn reach proposed settlement in landmark scraping case] (https://www.natlawreview.com/article/hiq-and-linkedin-reach-proposed-settlement-landmark-scraping-case)
--- [My chilling run-in with a secretive facial-recognition app] (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/non-fiction/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-app-chilling/)
--- [Clearview’s facial recognition app Is identifying child victims of abuse] (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/business/clearview-facial-recognition-child-sexual-abuse.html)
--- [‘Thousands of dollars for something I didn’t do’] (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/31/technology/facial-recognition-false-arrests.html)
--- [How we store and search 30 billion faces] (https://www.clearview.ai/post/how-we-store-and-search-30-billion-faces)
--- [Clearview AI agrees to permanent ban on selling facial recognition to private companies] (https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/9/23063952/clearview-ai-aclu-settlement-illinois-bipa-injunction-private-companies)
--- [Clearview fined again in France for failing to comply with privacy orders] (https://techcrunch.com/2023/05/10/clearview-ai-another-cnil-gspr-fine/)
--- [Privacy law prevents Illinoisans from using Google app’s selfie art feature] (https://www.illinoispolicy.org/privacy-law-prevents-illinoisans-from-using-google-apps-selfie-art-feature/)
--- [Madison Square Garden uses facial recognition to ban its owner’s enemies] (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/22/nyregion/madison-square-garden-facial-recognition.html)
Transcript: [https://www.theverge.com/e/23683175] (https://www.theverge.com/e/23683175)
Decoder is a production of The Verge and is part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Today’s episode was produced by Kate Cox and Nick Statt. It was edited by Callie Wright.
The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Executive Producer is Eleanor Donovan.
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