Clearview AI — everyone’s favorite dystopian facial recognition database — is testing its software on surveillance cameras and augmented reality glasses, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.
Despite its recent legal and moral quandaries, Clearview AI has been pushing onward with its mission to scrape the internet for every usable image containing a face. The leaked camera documentation shows the company has no plans of stopping any time soon.
Clearview AI is playing coy — It seems Clearview AI wasn’t quite ready for the general public to know about its testing just yet. Clearview AI’s smart camera subdivision, called Insight Camera, took down its website after BuzzFeed News reached out for comment. Insight Camera’s website did not make it clear that it was at all associated with Clearview AI — the investigation was only able to link the two companies by comparing code from their respective websites.
The camera has been tested by real people — Despite being sneaky about owning the company, at least two organizations have already been testing Insight Camera. And these are not simply law enforcement companies: one tester is the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), a labor union for NYC public school teachers, and the other is a real estate firm called Rudin Management.
UFT confirmed to BuzzFeed News that its testing used a “self-contained, closed system” that did not access Clearview AI’s enormous database of 3 billion photos. The organization called its testing “successful” in identifying individuals who had made threats against employees.
Rudin Management also confirmed its testing. “We beta test many products to see if they would be additive to our portfolio and tenants. In this case we decided it was not and we do not currently use the software.”
AR incoming? — Clearview AI is also testing wearable augmented reality solutions in conjunction with its software. Data reviewed by BuzzFeed News showed that accounts associated with Vuzix, a manufacturer of augmented reality devices, has been running searches on Clearview AI’s database. Vuzix’s director of business development, Matt Margolis, confirmed the partnership.
“It’s not something anybody is buying off the shelf,” Margolis said, “but I can’t deny that it’s in development, though it’s not something we’re selling today.”
Clearview is on very shaky ground — Clearview AI has been making waves — and not the good kind — for a while now. The company has been highly criticized for its ruthless image-scraping techniques and layers of lies. Tech giants like Facebook and YouTube have sent cease-and-desist letters to the company over using their sites for image-scraping. Most recently, Apple blocked Clearview AI’s iPhone app for using a side-loading loophole.
Despite its long list of nascent scandals, Clearview AI continues to push ahead in its goals of world domination by way of facial recognition software. But don’t ask the company about its plans — it will probably just scurry away until the next scandal surfaces.