Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 8 May 2024

FOI request reveals unregulated use of facial recognition search tool by Metropolitan Police

Scotland Yard has banned the use of PimEyes facial recognition search engine after it was accessed thousands of times from Metropolitan Police computers.

Information received by i News and Liberty Investigates in response to a Freedom of Information (“FOI”) request showed that the PimEyes site, which is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, was visited from Metropolitan police computers 2,337 times over three months of this year.

The Met insisted that the 2,337 “hits” recorded on the search engine from its computers did not mean the site was accessed to carry out a facial recognition search and said that officers may have been researching PimEyes in light of recent controversy about the software.

The Met, along with other UK police forces, already has access to facial recognition software capable of matching images of suspects with official databases. But unlike those tools, PimEyes could be used by an officer or staff member without an official audit trail of searches or safeguards around which images are submitted.

The only facial recognition tools currently approved for use by the Met are restricted to watchlists of wanted people and their use is subject to approval by senior officers. But PimEyes offers an ability to search a far wider array of individuals by scanning the biometric details of up to three billion online images.

PimEyes, which was developed by two Polish students before being bought by its current owners, states that it uses a “reverse image search mechanism” enhanced by “face recognition technology” to allow users to upload photos of faces and locate where images of the same individual appear elsewhere online.  Privacy campaigners are concerned that it could be used by stalkers or to carry out surveillance.

MPs have warned that the technology is “invasive and dangerous” and called for it to be banned from open access.

In 2022, PimEyes owner Giorgi Gobronidze said that the onus of ethical responsibility lies with users, who he believes should only be using the tool to search for their own faces or for the faces of those who have provided express consent.

Gobronidze has pointed to how the tool has helped women locate and litigate against revenge porn. In a statement to i News, he said PimEyes “is designed solely to locate the sources that publish photographs” and that the firm “does not possess, nor does it utilise, any technology to identify living individuals.”

That assertion comes off as naive at best.

Read More: FOI request reveals unregulated use of facial recognition search tool by Metropolitan Police

The Dream

From our advertisers