AI-TECH: To identify some rioters, the FBI requested assistance from the United States Police Department, some of which use a tool criticized by individual rights activists.
The use of the facial recognition tool developed by Clearview AI grew by 26% on Thursday 7th January, the day after the Capitol was invaded by supporters of Donald Trump. This peak in use revealed by the CEO of the company Hoan Ton-That is due in large part to the investigations carried out by various police departments in the United States. However, the app is not unanimous.
Many videos and photos of the rioters circulated on social networks. The majority of them did not wear masks. The FBI was, therefore, able to isolate the faces of the suspects and seek help from the country’s law enforcement agencies to identify them, reports the New York Times. Dozens of portraits were thus transmitted. Police departments using Clearview to assist the FBI include those in Miami and Oxford, Alabama, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The operation of the denounced tool
Clearview AI said its software was used by 2,400 police departments in the United States, The Verge said. The facial recognition program is, however, the subject of criticism for the judicial errors it can cause in the hands of investigators. Its opponents also see it as a risk of obstructing the right to privacy. They also point out how the tool works.
Other apps of this type used by law enforcement compare images of a suspect to photos of identity papers and snapshots taken during arrests. Clearview, on the other hand, uses a database of more than 3 billion files, mainly from social networks and other online sources. The police services concerned ensured that the information provided by the software was matched with other forms of investigation.