Your Face Belongs to Us

When the New York Times broke the Clearview AI story in 2020, we suddenly had to face the reality that no one could truly be anonymous in public any more. This powerful app could take a picture of any face and find dozens of public images on the internet that they were in – even just in the background. And if those pictures were associated with a social media profile, we could identify the owner of the face along with their friends and family – all in an instant. Today I speak with Kashmir Hill about her investigation of this company and the sobering impacts of facial recognition technology in a world full of cameras, chronicled in her new book “Your Face Belongs to Us”.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:01:37: Tell us about your beat at the New York Times
  • 0:02:17: What is the Clearview app and what does it do?
  • 0:05:12: How did you come to write about Clearview AI?
  • 0:07:40: What happened when you first investigated this company?
  • 0:11:46: How did Clearview AI obtain all these images of our faces?
  • 0:14:24: Why are privacy advocates calling for a ban on this technology?
  • 0:16:36: Do the makers of Clearview appreciate the privacy implications of their tool?
  • 0:18:56: How did 9/11 influence our views on surveillance technology?
  • 0:22:33: Who has access to the Clearview app?
  • 0:24:14: How do we know who is using this tool?
  • 0:25:22: How has Clearview tried to win approval for this tool?
  • 0:27:37: What’s to stop others from copying this technology?
  • 0:31:05: Wasn’t Clearview used to ban lawyers from venues in NYC?
  • 0:33:13: Didn’t Illinois sue Clearview AI and win?
  • 0:34:09: Where else is facial recognition being used today?
  • 0:38:05: How often is FRT used in solving crimes in the US?
  • 0:41:26: What about cases where FRT identifies the wrong person?
  • 0:43:23: How accurate are these tools? What causes them to fail?
  • 0:45:59: How accurate is Clearview compared to other tools?
  • 0:47:02: How well does Clearview deal with facial hair, masks, etc?
  • 0:50:01: What can we do to protect our faces online?
  • 0:52:33: How well can Clearview pick out faces in the background?
  • 0:54:41: What’s the future of privacy in a world full of cameras?
  • 0:56:24: What can we do to rein in abuse of FRT?
  • 0:58:00: Wrap up and a look ahead