It took more than a year to report this story. We contacted more than 1,800 US taxpayer-funded organizations listed in data as having using Clearview AI to ask about facial recognition. Here's a thread of some our most important findings:…
Of the 1,803 entities listed in the data as having run at least one search with Clearview AI by Feb. 2020, 335 orgs confirmed to BuzzFeed News that they had used or tried the facial recognition software.…
The 1,803 entities listed in the data had run almost 340,000 facial recognition scans from 2018 to Feb 2020. The largest searchers, according to the data, included the NYPD, FBI, CBP, and ICE.…
One of the biggest things we found is that Clearview’s offering of free trials led to cops using the software without higher ups knowing. 69 agencies initially denied using Clearview to us, before they went back and found employees who had.…
Five organizations including the LAPD and the California Department of Justice found their employees were using Clearview after we asked them about it and subsequently moved to ban or block the software.…
The data lists 31 public colleges and universities where people used or tried Clearview. There were also two high schools and a Texas school district, though it’s unclear if Clearview has been used on minors.…
The city of Alameda, CA voted to ban facial recognition in December 2019. According to the data, Alameda police officers continued to run Clearview searches *after* that vote. Look at the response here from an Alameda city council member.…
Clearview has claimed it has incredible accuracy but many police officers has trouble with the software or said it simply doesn’t work under certain conditions. These are their own words.…
While Clearview’s tech has not yet led to an arrest based on a false ID, we found three examples where its software led to false positive matches, something the company previously claimed it does not do. Those false positives all involved faces of color.…
This is the story I'm most proud of in my career and it wouldn't be possible without our team: @caro1inehaskins @bri_sacks @_loganmcdonald @JohnPaczkowski @mat and @SchoofsFeed

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More from @RMac18

7 Apr
Just saw this explanation from Facebook about the data leak, which interestingly claims it's focused on protecting people because "scraping data" is against its terms of service.

That's funny because FB has done nothing about Clearview AI scraping photos.… Image
Over the last year, I have asked Facebook more than a dozen times if it will take legal action against Clearview AI for scraping what is likely millions of photos from Instagram and Facebook. No lawsuits have been filed and FB has said nothing on record.…
Facebook board member Peter Thiel is an investor in Clearview AI. How can a board member, who has a fiduciary duty to Facebook, maintain a financial interest in another company that is directly harming Facebook's users?
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
We spent a year reaching out to (and following up with) all the taxpayer-funded organizations listed in the data, so it's extremely rewarding to see people use our table to see if local police or government agencies in their area used Clearview AI.
Even with our reach outs, the majority of organizations in the dataset did not respond to our questions. But the reporting shouldn't end there. With the table, we're hoping that local reporters and concerned citizens can continue to hold these public servants accountable.
Of the 335 organizations that confirmed their employees used or tried Clearview, 69 initially denied any use before we questioned them further, leading them to uncover officers or individuals that had used free trials. That was a big impetus for our story.…
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
Lol they wrote up a whole story about our scoop and couldn't even bother to credit, much less link…
gee, i wonder what made them have to confirm it in the first place? Image
Big pubs may not credit other pubs because they don't want to make it appear that they're second to a story, but it's a fundamental disservice to readers. Hiding information is never a good look. Crediting doesn't make your story any worse.…
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
God this is gonna suck
These two opening statements make it pretty clear we're going to get nowhere. One side cares about the spread of misinformation. The other cares about "woke books" and calls the removal of misinformation "censorship."

Good luck to everyone watching this for the next 6 hours.
That talking point from Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook not being responsible for polarization? That came straight out of a presentation Facebook made to employees earlier this month.…
Read 11 tweets
18 Mar
Facebook is building an Instagram for children under the age of 13, based on internal docs and interview with @mosseri. My latest with @CraigSilverman.…
On Tuesday Facebook announced that it was trying to make Instagram safer for teens. Nowhere in that announcement did it say that it was building a product for children under 13. We got that internal announcement, which went up today.…
After seeing the internal docs, I asked @mosseri about it. He said there is no "detailed plan." The thinking was that kids want to join Instagram anyway and that FB wanted to build a product with safeguards and age verification with tracking for parents.…
Read 5 tweets
17 Mar
Sure this is important, but 8 people were just killed in a shooting in your state and you’ve tweeted nothing about it?
The pinned tweet is just the icing Image
His office has said nothing as well. It’s not something that’s hard to denounce. Image
Read 4 tweets

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