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This website offers facial recognition software that anyone can use, including stalkers

Yeah, this isn’t good.

facial recognition being shown on a person with fingerprint data
Image: Cisco

Facial recognition is a very powerful AI technology that has businesses interested in its application, and many people are concerned about how it can be weaponized against normal people. Typically, the tech is locked behind high paywalls or available only as an internal tool. PimEyes, on the other hand, is available to anyone.

According to CNNBusiness, the PimEyes website allows users to upload images of themselves, and the site will compile all of the pictures that its AI has found of you across the internet and show you. There are also paid plans that allow for more searches and provide additional details for images found.

The technology, at its core, is impressive, pulling images where you are the center of attention, as well as images where you are not the main focus. All kinds of websites are referenced when compiling the images, from media to porn websites.

pimeyes facial recognition example
Screenshot: PimEyes (we’ve blurred images of people that aren’t Josiah)

This is a very powerful tool, and making facial recognition easily available to the public can be very dangerous. This type of software has generally only been made available to law enforcement because it could be pretty scary in the hands of the public. That said, it’s not that great in the hands of law enforcement either.

Unfortunately, people suck sometimes, and this tool in the hands of someone who sucks just seems too powerful. I can think of many scenarios where someone having access to facial recognition software could be very bad for someone else.

A stalker could use this technology to find out all kinds of things about somebody. Potential employers could have insights into a potential employee’s life that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. There are almost infinite scenarios where having this kind of technology readily available could be dangerous.

PimEyes’ goal is not to empower the dangerous side of people, but rather give users the tools to see, and possibly regulate, how they are presented on the internet. It is certainly a noble goal, but facial recognition technology has too many flaws for mainstream use.

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