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The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know ItinNewsTechJanuary 18, 2020 Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos. Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security. His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever const…
Schools Took Away Students’ Phones. Now They’re Treating Separation AnxietyCompromises include letting young people see their devices from afar or hold them in a locked pouchThe 'phoney pack' made by a high school teacher to hold students’ cellphones during class.
BySarah KrouseJan. 20, 2020 1:40 pm ET
Before class each day, a high-school teacher in Indianapolis grabs a clear plastic bag and fastens it to her waist with a ribbon. The homemade pouch is a repository for phones that are either confiscated or handed over voluntarily by students who don’t want to be tempted to tap or swipe during class. Now you see it.
She calls it the “phoney pack,” and the magic of the makeshift vault isn’t that it keeps devices out of reach. It’s that it lowers students’ anxiety by keeping their phones in view. Smartphones have long been a scourge for teachers and administrators, who have employed a range of strict measures to keep them out of the classroom. But it turns out that getting rid of phone…

Clearview app lets strangers find your name, info with snap of a photo, report says

Clearview app lets strangers find your name, info with snap of a photo, report saysIt may not be long before you'll have to forget about walking down the street anonymously, says a New York Times report.
January 18, 2020 12:26 PM PST




What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk then use an app to quickly discover your name, address and other details? A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible, and its app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US, including the FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.  The app, says the Times, works by comparing a photo to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it's scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites. It then serves up matches, along with links to the sites where those database photos originally appeared. A name might easily be unearthed, and from there other info could be dug up online. The size of the Clearview database dwarfs …