Your Face Belongs to Us: The Secretive Startup Dismantling Your Privacy
When Kashmir Hill stumbled upon Clearview AI, a mysterious startup selling an app that claimed it could identify anyone using just a snapshot of their face, the implications were terrifying. The app could use the photo to find your name, your social media profiles, your friends and family – even your home address. But this was just the start of a story more shocking than she could have imagined.
Launched by computer engineer Hoan Ton-That and politician Richard Schwartz, and assisted by a cast of controversial characters on the alt-right, Clearview AI would quickly rise to the top, sharing its app with billionaires and law enforcement. In this riveting feat of reporting Hill weaves the story of Clearview AI with an exploration of how facial recognition technology is reshaping our lives, from its use by governments and companies like Google and Facebook (who decided it was too radical to release) to the consequences of racial and gender biases baked into the AI. Soon it could expand the reach of policing ― as it has in China and Russia ― and lead us into a dystopian future.
Your Face Belongs to Us is a gripping true story. It illuminates our tortured relationship with technology, the way it entertains us even as it exploits us, and it presents a powerful warning that in the absence of regulation, this technology will spell the end of our anonymity.
Kashmir Hill writes about the unexpected and sometimes ominous ways technology is changing our lives, particularly when it comes to our privacy. She is a tech reporter at The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Popular Science, and The Washington Post. She has degrees from Duke University and New York University, where she studied journalism.