John Oliver explores law enforcement abuse of facial recognition technology


On Last week with John Oliver tonight On Sunday, Oliver highlighted the law enforcement authorities’ abuse of facial recognition technology. There was serious concern that the police are currently using facial recognition to identify Black Lives Matter protesters, and as Oliver emphasized, this would not be the first time.

“During Freddie Gray’s protests, the police used facial recognition technology to locate and arrest people with pending warrants,” said Oliver. “This is a pretty scary way to undermine the right to meet.”

Due to the public outcry, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon do not allow the police to access their facial recognition technology, and IBM has stopped developing mass surveillance technology as a whole, but law enforcement does not stop law enforcement officers from accessing millions of photos of American citizens.

“Since 2011, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial recognition searches,” said Oliver, “and the databases that law enforcement agencies draw from include over 117 million American adults, including driver’s license photos of residents of all of them.” States (30 states highlighted on a map of the United States). Approximately one in two of us had our photos searched in this way. “

Perhaps most worrying is that hundreds of law enforcement agencies have used Clearview AI’s services to pull photos of people from social media without their knowledge. Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook sent Clearview AI cease-and-desist declarations saying they had an initial adjustment right to access the photos. Clearview image search technology is not currently used in the European Union as the European Data Protection Board has warned that this may not be legal.

“The idea that someone can take your picture and find out everything about you right away is alarming enough before you realize that over 600 law enforcement agencies have used Clearview,” said Oliver. “And you are probably in this database even if you don’t know it.”

Last week with John Oliver tonight will be broadcast on Sundays at 11 p.m. HBO.

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