Volume XXI
Issue III
Spring '20

The End of Anonymity: How Facial Recognition Technology Will Worsen Online Harassment

Written By: Courtney Hinkle

Abstract

In January 2020, the New York Times published a bombshell report detailing how a little-known company, Clearview AI, had quietly developed facial-recognition software to help law enforcement agencies match photos of unknown persons with their online images.1 The company allows photos to be uploaded and cross-referenced with a massive database of more than 3 billion images scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo, and millions of other websites. The revelations immediately sparked public outcry from lawmakers, tech companies, as well as the privacy and civil rights activists. And the power of Clearview’s technology raise serious privacy and ethical concerns; in particular, the technology poses a grave threat to stalking victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

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