It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

page: 1
40
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:
+23 more 
posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 07:51 AM
link   
The thread's title is the exact title of the article I just read on the New York Times site. The source may be considered biased by some, but I think the information in it is important enough to be shared on a conspiracy related site like ATS.

This is about a software created by a new company, Clearview AI, that makes face recognition easier because it has database of (according to them) 3 billion images (or, for the non-American, 3 thousand millions). How did they got all those images?


The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.


At first they couldn't find a target market, but they finally decided to sell it to law enforcement agencies.


But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year, according to the company, which declined to provide a list. The computer code underlying its app, analyzed by The New York Times, includes programming language to pair it with augmented-reality glasses; users would potentially be able to identify every person they saw. The tool could identify activists at a protest or an attractive stranger on the subway, revealing not just their names but where they lived, what they did and whom they knew.
And it’s not just law enforcement: Clearview has also licensed the app to at least a handful of companies for security purposes.


The first steps taken by Kashmir Hill, the reporter who wrote the article, resulted in a dead end.


When I began looking into the company in November, its website was a bare page showing a nonexistent Manhattan address as its place of business. The company’s one employee listed on LinkedIn, a sales manager named “John Good,” turned out to be Mr. Ton-That, using a fake name. For a month, people affiliated with the company would not return my emails or phone calls.
While the company was dodging me, it was also monitoring me. At my request, a number of police officers had run my photo through the Clearview app. They soon received phone calls from company representatives asking if they were talking to the media — a sign that Clearview has the ability and, in this case, the appetite to monitor whom law enforcement is searching for.



The company eventually started answering my questions, saying that its earlier silence was typical of an early-stage start-up in stealth mode. Mr. Ton-That acknowledged designing a prototype for use with augmented-reality glasses but said the company had no plans to release it. And he said my photo had rung alarm bells because the app “flags possible anomalous search behavior” in order to prevent users from conducting what it deemed “inappropriate searches.”


It was a small start-up, looking for clients, so how did they grow up?


In addition to Mr. Ton-That, Clearview was founded by Richard Schwartz — who was an aide to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was mayor of New York — and backed financially by Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist behind Facebook and Palantir.
Another early investor is a small firm called Kirenaga Partners. Its founder, David Scalzo, dismissed concerns about Clearview making the internet searchable by face, saying it’s a valuable crime-solving tool.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that because information constantly increases, there’s never going to be privacy,” Mr. Scalzo said. “Laws have to determine what’s legal, but you can’t ban technology. Sure, that might lead to a dystopian future or something, but you can’t ban it.”



Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Ton-That met in 2016 at a book event at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. Mr. Schwartz, now 61, had amassed an impressive Rolodex working for Mr. Giuliani in the 1990s and serving as the editorial page editor of The New York Daily News in the early 2000s. The two soon decided to go into the facial recognition business together: Mr. Ton-That would build the app, and Mr. Schwartz would use his contacts to drum up commercial interest.

...

By the end of 2017, the company had a formidable facial recognition tool, which it called Smartcheckr. But Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Ton-That weren’t sure whom they were going to sell it to.

...

The company soon changed its name to Clearview AI and began marketing to law enforcement. That was when the company got its first round of funding from outside investors: Mr. Thiel and Kirenaga Partners. Among other things, Mr. Thiel was famous for secretly financing Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit that bankrupted the popular website Gawker. Both Mr. Thiel and Mr. Ton-That had been the subject of negative articles by Gawker.

“In 2017, Peter gave a talented young founder $200,000, which two years later converted to equity in Clearview AI,” said Jeremiah Hall, Mr. Thiel’s spokesman. “That was Peter’s only contribution; he is not involved in the company.”


But success is not only made from having funding, the product must work, and, apparently, it works as advertised.


In February, the Indiana State Police started experimenting with Clearview. They solved a case within 20 minutes of using the app. Two men had gotten into a fight in a park, and it ended when one shot the other in the stomach. A bystander recorded the crime on a phone, so the police had a still of the gunman’s face to run through Clearview’s app.
They immediately got a match: The man appeared in a video that someone had posted on social media, and his name was included in a caption on the video. “He did not have a driver’s license and hadn’t been arrested as an adult, so he wasn’t in government databases,” said Chuck Cohen, an Indiana State Police captain at the time.

...

In July, a detective in Clifton, N.J., urged his captain in an email to buy the software because it was “able to identify a suspect in a matter of seconds.” During the department’s free trial, Clearview had identified shoplifters, an Apple Store thief and a good Samaritan who had punched out a man threatening people with a knife.

...

According to a Clearview sales presentation reviewed by The Times, the app helped identify a range of individuals: a person who was accused of sexually abusing a child whose face appeared in the mirror of someone’s else gym photo; the person behind a string of mailbox thefts in Atlanta; a John Doe found dead on an Alabama sidewalk; and suspects in multiple identity-fraud cases at banks.


(end of Part I)



+5 more 
posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 07:52 AM
link   
(Part II)

So, we have a good face recognition application (they say that it finds matches up to 75 percent of the time) that uses a proprietary photo database, created from online images (although in some cases gathered against the conditions of use of the sites from where they were taken, like Twitter, which specifically includes facial recognition in the list of their "prohibited uses of our data and developer products"), that is used mostly by law enforcement and security companies.

To be able to make a search the clients upload their images to that proprietary database, "feeding" even more data to the database.

The database owners can control who and when a client has access to the images in the database and can know what searches are being made.

Nobody (except probably Clearview AI) knows how many false matches the software returns, as it was not tested by an independent party like NIST, that have a facial recognition rating of more than 200 algorithms.

They got many of their images against the rules of the source sites, but considering Clearview AI investor Peter Thiel is a board member of Facebook, I'm not expecting much of an opposition to their data gathering, at least not from Facebook.

As they know who makes the searches they know when someone is being looked for by the police, so they can create (if they haven't done that already) a database of people that were looked for by the police, and nothing prevents them from "suggesting" those that were once the target of a police investigation as a more likely match.

Finally, now that news about this got out in the public, nothing prevents other people from creating their own version of Clearview AI's system, either for selling their service or for their private use (something that should be relatively easy for a government agency or a country).

Although I'm usually an optimist, it looks more and more like privacy will be a thing of the past, and that big data is getting more and more important and connected to big money. I think the only thing that still gives us some time is the fact that, despite all the publicity, Artificial Intelligence is not as advanced as many people think, but I suppose it's just a question of time.

(Source)

PS: I have been trying to keep my face out of the Internet since I started using it, back in 1996, but I know that there are at least 3 photos of myself publicly available, none of them posted by myself, and I'm sure that happens to many people.
edit on 19/1/2020 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:15 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP


PS: I have been trying to keep my face out of the Internet since I started using it, back in 1996, but I know that there are at least 3 photos of myself publicly available, none of them posted by myself, and I'm sure that happens to many people.


i have done the same thing, there maybe some pictures somewhere of me but not by my doing. in fact there is only one site that even has my real name, and it's a email account that never gets used. i've had so many email accounts, that i can't remember them all. and that bs about not being able to have a facebook account with out a real name is BS. i've had many now only one that i used cause i can't remember any of the others.


+4 more 
posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:17 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP

4th Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

5th Amendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

14th Amendment
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


----------------------------------------------


I posted (what I think)are applicable sections of the Bill of Rights pertaining to privacy, due process

I would be surprised if this isn't fought in the Supreme Court.

I have no problem providing tools, supporting tools to enable law enforcement to do their job. But everyone has rights, and those rights are guaranteed.

People are innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law. I think this violates privacy.


+6 more 
posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:24 AM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy

i agree with what your saying but the government doesn't. just look at the fact that they have had banks flagging anything done over 10,000 dollars, and asset seizure.

the U.S. is fairly close to being a police state, the powers that be are working hard on it and it only a miracle that it's not a complete one now. it's not because of a lack of trying.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:26 AM
link   

originally posted by: ArMaP
In July, a detective in Clifton, N.J...


Two towns over from me.

I'm thinking if you don't want your online persona aggregated don't post stuff online.

I'm sure I'm in their database, I'm on LinkedIn and use it regularly to taunt our competitors and poach their talent.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:31 AM
link   
a reply to: hounddoghowlie

I'm still processing this, so I most certainly can be wrong, but right now, I'm seeing correlations to New York's "Stop & Frisk" laws.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 08:46 AM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy

stop and frisk always put me in the mind of profiling. which as a investigative tool i'm not really against. i know that is a contradiction as to what i was saying about being a police state, but fact is, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck.

but until there is a reason to profile, the snooping, surveilling, stopping people is unconstitutional in my book.
there has to be a reason for that to be used as in a crime has been committed, not just because it fits patterns and one might be.

kinda like see something say something, good idea sometimes, bad idea in others.


+2 more 
posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 09:05 AM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy

Its significantly worse than that. Because of Facebook, the operator of this App can immediately identify a person, say, riding on the bus or subway, AND pull up their address, their family members, co-workers and friends. This is beyond creepy.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 09:09 AM
link   
a reply to: TonyS

I work in the medical field and HIPAA is taken very seriously. It was put in place (ironically by Hillary Clinton) to protect the rights of privacy.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 09:34 AM
link   

originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: ArMaP

4th Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

5th Amendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

14th Amendment
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


----------------------------------------------


I posted (what I think)are applicable sections of the Bill of Rights pertaining to privacy, due process

I would be surprised if this isn't fought in the Supreme Court.

I have no problem providing tools, supporting tools to enable law enforcement to do their job. But everyone has rights, and those rights are guaranteed.

People are innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law. I think this violates privacy.


Great post, except the biggest issue with this WHOLE thing is that people are more often Guilty unless they can prove their innocence to the satisfaction of the courts.

A good friend recently had to spend $25k - just about all of his life savings, in a very difficult, yet ultimately successful quest to prove his innocence. He had been charged with multiple counts of fraud, perpetrated by someone using his identity - while he was hospitalized following a surgery.

Any mistakes made with such technology will lead to innocent people's lives ruined.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 10:11 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP

Surprised to see Ven mo on the list. I post on Instagrandma often (no pics of my face) and folks I talk to complained about IG for the reason you're making this thread about. So they said they were dumping IG and going to Ven Mo. Welp that was dumb.

AugustusMasonicus and DBCowboy, I Google'd your screen names and mine a few times. Was shocked to see ALL the photo's and other content that's come up.

Thanks OP



I was thinking Vero not Venmo.

Edit 3:
VERO.. Vero says that its “a social network for anyone who loves anything enough to share it – and wants control over who they share it with. Just like we do in real life.” 

Vero is a subscription based social network which has no ads and does not collect any personal user data. It’s a great alternative to Facebook as has some really lovely features. It’s a totally different model to Facebook in the sense that Facebook needs user data in order to make money from them.

Vero does collect some usage data which is used to see how often the app is used. Another great thing about the usage data they collect is how its displayed to you.  Vero want to address the issue of social media addiction.


edit on 19-1-2020 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-1-2020 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 10:13 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP

Shouldnt be allowed but we all knew this was coming or was already here. There's no escaping this intrusion into our lives now, unless you happen to live in the Countryside away from internet coverage!



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 10:17 AM
link   

originally posted by: DBCowboy
I posted (what I think)are applicable sections of the Bill of Rights pertaining to privacy, due process

I would be surprised if this isn't fought in the Supreme Court.

The problem here is that they are using images that are publicly (or semi-publicly) available, so privacy in situations like this is a more complicated problem.

That's why the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is about data protection and not privacy, protecting the data that can be used to uniquely identify a person. It also talks about the "right to be forgotten", so if a person knows that some database has identifiable data about them they can ask for the removal of said that and the database operators/owners have to do it.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:04 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP

It's too bad the corporations are so powerful in this country. It would be nice if we had privacy laws like Europe.

Corporations ARE the government.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:09 AM
link   
And there you have it. Peter Thiel. Co-founder of Facebook. No surprise he's right in the middle of this. How can you even pretend this is news?



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:09 AM
link   
I thought Chinese perfected this type of system and are marketing it.

Person of Interest was so cool, right on the money in a number of ways.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:18 AM
link   
a reply to: ArMaP

This is one of the many systems out there that will not be able to realize it's full potential without the 5G grid. SkyNet is coming.



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:22 AM
link   

originally posted by: BrianFlanders
And there you have it. Peter Thiel. Co-founder of Facebook. No surprise he's right in the middle of this. How can you even pretend this is news?


Lol yep, just as suspected...
Dapa, aka Lifelog, aka Facebook, aka the gov forming corporations to circumvent the constitution some more, aka misappropriation of tax dollars to enslave us.
Cool



posted on Jan, 19 2020 @ 11:41 AM
link   

originally posted by: Bigburgh
AugustusMasonicus and DBCowboy, I Google'd your screen names and mine a few times. Was shocked to see ALL the photo's and other content that's come up.


No pics of me when I looked, however this weirdo came up under my name when I searched:




new topics

top topics



 
40
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join