People have spoken out against face recognition search engines that crawl the internet and potentially identify you based on a photograph.

Not every technological advancement is appreciated, and one tool that the internet may provide that some find unsettling is the facial recognition search engine.

Simply enter a photo of someone into the engine, and it will pull up all of the other photographs it can locate on the internet of who it believes that person is, based on an AI algorithm.

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While some may find it valuable in uncovering scammers, many others have expressed worries about this technological advancement and what it means for their privacy.

There have previously been worries over a website called PimEyes, which utilized a facial recognition search engine to identify all other photographs of a person online, and was dubbed “the most disturbing AI website on the internet.”

These sites aren’t without flaws; your humble author once used PimEyes, and while the first two images it provided were actually yours truly, there were six more absolute strangers who looked a little like me.

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People are now concerned about another one, this time called FaceCheck.ID, which allows you to accomplish the same thing by uploading a photo of the person you’re looking for.

The site boasts it has over 571 million faces to pick from and some are scared what people would use it for, with one uploading a screenshot of the site’s homepage stating ‘oh boy’ and another cynically quipping ‘what could possibly go wrong’.

Others on social media, however, have applauded the site, claiming they’ve used it to catch catfishers and scammers.

Attempting to upload a person’s photo to the site requires you to agree to some terms and conditions, including pledging not to stalk, harass, blackmail, or confront a person, implying that they are aware of the potential uses for their website.

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I tried this one as well, and it produced one image that it was (correctly) confident was of me, as well as a slew of others that the site’s rating stated weren’t of me but decided to show nonetheless.

According to the site’s privacy guidelines, you can be removed from their search engine by sending them a photo of yourself and seeing what photographs of you they can find online.

You can then choose photographs that will not appear for search engine users looking for you, albeit you will need to offer them either ID or a selfie with you tapping your chin if you can’t send them ID.

According to FaceCheck.ID, photos of you that the search engine can access and show to other users are promptly removed.

According to 404media, there are accounts that are ‘doxing ordinary and ordinarily anonymous people’ using facial recognition software, with these accounts sometimes being able to find out exactly who a person is just by running an image of their face through easily accessible software.

When you post images of yourself on the internet, you are not agreeing to people being able to track down every detail about your life, which is why many people are concerned about this technology.


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