‘Too dangerous:’ Why even Google was afraid to release this technology

PimEyes, a potent facial recognition tool developed by hackers in Poland, is being widely used on platforms like TikTok, raising concerns about privacy and misuse of technology.

The tool in focus: PimEyes, a facial recognition engine, enables users to scan a person’s face from a photo and find other images of them from across the internet.
* The service, created by two Polish hackers, has found popularity on TikTok as people use it to identify strangers, such as a cameraman at a concert.
* PimEyes offers a basic free version, with paid subscriptions offering advanced features such as alerts when new photos of the user appear online.

Real concerns: Critics warn of potential misuse of such technology by stalkers and the erosion of privacy.
* New York Times reporter Kashmir Hill points out the dangers of this technology being used constantly in public spaces, leading to possibilities of harassment and bullying.
* Privacy experts have expressed alarm that governments and private companies could use the technology to surveil citizens.

Industry precautions: Big tech firms have developed similar technology but have hesitated to make them publicly accessible due to concerns about misuse.
* Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as far back as 2011, said that Google was wary of releasing facial recognition technology due to the danger it posed in the wrong hands.

Legal landscape: There are currently no federal laws governing facial recognition technology in the US, while in Europe, a potential ban on its use in public spaces is being discussed.
* Some US states have local laws regulating the use of facial recognition by private companies. For example, Illinois has laws protecting how faces are scanned and used by these entities.
* In the EU, lawmakers are debating how to regulate biometric data, with some advocating for a complete ban on facial recognition tools.

View original article on NPR

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