The New Jersey State Attorney General prohibits police from using facial recognition software
New Jersey attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal has instructed prosecutors across the state to stop using Clearview AI, a private facial recognition software.
Clearview AI tools allow law enforcement officials to upload a photo of an unknown person they would like to identify, and view a list of matches obtained from a database of more than 3 billion photos.
The photos are taken from a variety of controversial sources, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Venmo.
New Jersey attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal told the state attorney to stop using Clearview AI, a private facial recognition software that worried him that could compromise the integrity of the state’s investigations.
Clearview says that anyone can send a request to the company to have a photo of them removed from their databases, but they must first provide proof that they own the copyright of the photo.
Grewal decided to issue the ban after seeing that Clearview had used images of a 2019 undercover operation in New Jersey to promote his own services, something that even he didn’t know at the time.
“I was surprised that they used my image and the office to promote the product online,” Grewal told New York Times.
“I was worried they would share information about criminal prosecutions in progress.”
After investigating the problem, Gerwal confirmed that one of the 19 people arrested in the bite had been identified using Clearview, but since all cases were ongoing, he felt uncomfortable with the use of these in promotional material.
Another report in the Times, about the controversial practices used to generate the company’s massive database, worried Grewal even more and prompted him to issue the ban.
ClearviewAI has accumulated a database of more than 3 billion images from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Venmo, which it uses to help identify people in the photos that law enforcement officers upload to their servers
Clearview says it will remove anyone’s photo from its huge database as long as it provides proof that it owns the image copyright
“Until this week, I had not heard of Clearview AI,” he said. “I was worried”.
“The report raised questions about data privacy, cybersecurity, security of law enforcement and the integrity of our investigations.”
In 2019, New York police also attempted to use Clearview’s facial recognition software during a 90-day trial period, but decided not to continue after the test passed.
However, a New York Post report found that many officers had continued to use the application on their personal phones even after the department had decided not to.
A Clearview spokesman told the Post that there were 36 accounts connected to the New York police that had registered thousands of searches through the software.
The ACLU warned that because tools such as Clearview are not regulated, they could lead to incorrect searches or even without a court order.
“I do not categorically oppose the use of any of these types of tools or technologies that facilitate the resolution of crimes and the capture of predatory children or other dangerous criminals,” he said.
“But we need to have a complete understanding of what is happening here and make sure there are appropriate safeguards.”
In 2013, Clearview worked with the office of General Attonrey of New Jersey on an identity fraud detection program, helping to identify instances in which the same person was trying to use multiple identities, although in that case they relied on photos provided by the state , not in photos taken from online sources such as Facebook and Twitter
Clearview allows people to request that their photos be removed from the company’s database, but to expose that case, they must show proof that they own the copyright of the photos, something that most people won’t be able to do. .
An earlier version of Clearview AI’s facial recognition software had been used in New Jersey as part of a 2013 effort to remove photos from the driver’s license in search of identity fraud incidents.
Unlike the most recent efforts, this initiative only used a database compiled by the government of photos, not one created from social networks and other online resources.
HOW DOES FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY WORK?
The facial recognition software works by combining images in real time with a previous photograph of a person.
Each face has approximately 80 unique nodal points in the eyes, nose, cheeks and mouth that distinguish one person from another.
A digital video camera measures the distance between several points on the human face, such as the width of the nose, the depth of the eye sockets, the distance between the eyes and the shape of the jaw.
A different intelligent surveillance system (pictured) can scan 2 billion faces in seconds has been revealed in China. The system connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to select targets. The army is working on applying a similar version of this with AI to track people across the country
This produces a unique numerical code that can then be linked to a matching code obtained from a previous photograph.
A facial recognition system used by officials in China connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to select targets.
Experts believe that facial recognition technology will soon outperform fingerprint technology as the most effective way to identify people.