It is not every day you see someone stealing photos from your gallery. Needless to say that it is immoral. That’s what happened in the name of Facial recognition program.
But what if someone tries to steal all the data from these companies? ClearView AI is a company which is exposed to one such circumstance.
Facial Recognition Program: Is it ethical?
Facial recognition is facing a lot of controversy over the years. It has some important applications and it makes a lot of things easier. What is the cost of implementing facial recognition?
The facial recognition program is not a one-step process. For a program to recognize a face, it has to know it before. But how would it know a person just like that?
Yes, you would’ve guessed it right. We should manually feed it images of people for the program to store and process them.
But is it ethical? The answer is simple. Using someone’s data without their consent is unethical. It does not matter if it has useful outcomes.
But it is impossible to keep this world on the check without this data. For this exact reason, the government provides certain companies with access.
They can collect, store, analyze and use this data for the welfare of the society. But these companies must protect the data with extreme security.
The ClearView Tragedy
Private Facial Recognition firms have been of great use to law enforcement. They help by analyzing the digital world to find terrorists and other wanted criminals. ClearView is one among them.
In exchange, the government trusts these agencies to access private images. However, these images come from various digital devices around the world.
It is not every day you see someone stealing images from a secured facial recognition firm. They secure their data behind several layers of internet protocols.
This is because these images might have sensitive content in them. But a few days ago, the company gave out an official report stating that there has been a breach.
The Stolen Information
The company still does not know who stole the images. The company knows nothing other than the fact that the thief has “Unauthorized access”. And now it calls this whole act “a breach” in its security.
Although who is behind this breach is not clear, the company knows what’s stolen. The breacher seems to have stolen the list of users and the accounts tied to them.
Information about the number of searches which the users made was also stolen.
Could it be fixed?
It is now said that the company has fixed its weak spot which the intruder used to get into their systems.
The company gave assurance about the integrity of the company’s server and the network. It might seem like we can prevent similar things from happening.
But what’s done is done. You can magically make the 3 billion images disappear. It is just not possible.
This raises serious questions about the privacy of the people. Companies like ClearView are meant to serve as the gatekeepers. We now know that even the gatekeepers are vulnerable.
There is no doubt that facial recognition technology is a blessing. It has solved numerous cases which includes terrorism and robbery. Also, it has saved numerous kids from sexual abuse.
But it is mandatory that the companies which do this to have impenetrable security. ClearView’s integrity is put to repeated tests.
Unless we’re sure that no more breaches will happen, it cannot be allowed to scrap more images. Before it helps law enforcement officers, the company must help itself in improving its security.