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Clearview AI Rises After Capitol Attack


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 Clearview AI CEO says the use of his company's facial recognition technology among law enforcement agencies rose by 26 percent the next day after a group of pro-Trump rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol building.

According to the New York Times, Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That confirmed that the company saw a sharp increase in usage on January 7, compared to the usual weekday search volume.

The January 6 attack was broadcast live on news channels, and hundreds of pictures were taken and a live broadcast showing the faces of rioters infiltrating the Capitol building.

The FBI and other agencies requested assistance from the public in identifying the participants.

"We are checking any photos or videos available from any location we can get," said (Armando Aguilar) Armando Aguilar, assistant chief of the Miami Police Department who oversees the investigations.

Two investigators at the department's Real-Time Crime Center are using Clearview AI to try to identify some rioters and send potential matches to the FBI's Joint Counterterrorism Task Force office in Miami.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Alabama Police Department was also using Clearview AI technology to recognize faces in photos from the riots and send the information to the FBI.

And when the officer does research, the app provides links to websites where the person's face has appeared, and the company's technology has become controversial due to its effectiveness.

In contrast to the facial recognition used by the authorities, which uses images, such as: driver's license photos and pictures taken by the police for a person who has been arrested, the Clearview AI database of about 3 billion images has been collected from social media platforms and other websites, according to As revealed by the investigation conducted by The Times last year.

In addition to raising serious privacy concerns, the practice of collecting images from social media violated the platforms' rules, and tech companies sent numerous stop-and-go orders to Clearview AI in the wake of the investigation.

In May, the company said it was no longer selling its technology to private companies and was providing it to law enforcement only.

Clearview AI technologies are used by about 2,400 law enforcement agencies across the United States, according to the company.