Face Recognition Search for Cops now available to anyone

Face Recognition Search for Cops now available to anyone

How to remove illegally posted photos of you from other sites.

by Kurt Knutsson

Get ready for a facial recognition creep out.

Powerful facial search tools are usually reserved for police and law enforcement use.  Artificial intelligence has transformed stored images and video from any camera into smart results often helpful in identifying suspects such as bank robbers and any suspected criminal caught on camera.

Now an online tool tapping into artificial intelligence and publicly available images lets you search for your face through the 900 million photos around the world online.

Unlike searching Google Images which also allows you to search with an existing photo of yourself, the results are not remotely accurate when I used the same photo to test the power of searching for my face online.

In my test, the most popular and widely used photo search, Google Images, failed to identify my face in any other photo online and instead produced results that mirrored the flavor of everything in the photo, but just not me.

On the other hand, while the leading search engine failed at finding my face anywhere, the PimEyes facial recognition site is amazingly accurate and fast.

265 photos of me found in 2.10 seconds

I uploaded the same recent photo of myself to PimEyes and within a few seconds, it found hundreds of photos of me posted all over various sites, nooks and crannies online. Some pictures of me were taken by other people I’ve never seen and many date as far back as 10 to 15 years.

I could have found more photos of myself beyond the free version with a deep search that starts at $30 and up. The PimEyes paid version offers a chance to set up notifications when a photo of you pops-up online and removal tools.  Search for your face online here.

Is this a privacy tool or a frightening weapon for stalkers?

The scary truth is that anyone can use it even though PimEyes says it is meant to be a search of yourself by yourself and no one else, but that’s not how it’s being used.

This is how a creepy tool can invade your privacy

One guy claims to have captured individual photos from people on his zoom call and found revealing details on each person described as “startling”. This investigative cyber tool could have dire consequences when used as a weapon for a stalker, and in cases where “creepshots” are taken of a woman without her knowledge at a public outing such as a bar.

All it takes is a little detective work a child could perform by adding in some public searches of personal data. That could give someone with nefarious intentions a comprehensive detailed personal profile of someone being targeted – referred to online as “complete exposure”.

This may sound illegal, but it’s not in the U.S.  And in Europe, it is illegal for someone to search for another person, but not themselves. Even if AI-powered face searches like these were to become regulated, good luck enforcing it since PimEyes shows that it’s based just off the African coast in the Seychelles Islands 8,600 miles away from policymakers in Washington DC.

PimEyes even scours the darker places of the internet sometimes associating someone with porn. The company says that aspect of the tool can be useful for identifying revenge porn postings, unflattering internet memes or fake videos meant to embarrass.

How to do a “Takedown” of your photos

They offer a “takedown” removal service for any unauthorized use of photos and videos whether rated G or beyond. If you find someone using your photo without your permission, you have the right to issue a takedown notice and removal of your material even if it not protected by copyright.

How to craft your own “Takedown Notice” for free

I’ll show you how to craft your own “takedown” notice for free.  Expect the process to take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours once you have provided the necessary information for the site to take action.

See my guide to crafting your own takedown notice here.

1 comment

Mary Squire May 16, 2021 - 4:20 am

Kurt, I watched your feature on this product on Fox News with horror. I must tell you, though, that my experience just now makes me feel a bit better: I uploaded my photo and what I got back was hundreds of photos of Camilla Parker-Jones! The only feature we have in common is our hair color. Lol! I hope our police have a better tool than Pimeyes to work with…


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