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Clearview Facial Recognition Software Tested On Coinbase Systems

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One of the biggest crypto exchanges on US soil, Coinbase, has recently tested the Clearview AI facial recognition technology. According to news reports done by BuzzFeed’s, the exchange, holding 30 million accounts and getting 20 million views daily, has also denied that customer data was used during this testing phase.

Scrutiny Abound

The software has been subject to intense levels of controversy and scrutiny, as one would expect. The real crisis came when the New York Times exposed the company’s database. Said database holds an incredible three billion images, all scraped from an innumerable amount of social media platforms and websites, having done so without the users’ or publishers’ consent. As one would imagine, having a Big Brother take images that make it identify you, tends to rile a lot of people up the wrong way.

As one would expect, there have been numerous companies and platforms, such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook, that have threatened Clearview AI with legal actions. Not even other Big Brothers enjoy this company, it seems.

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The CEO of Clearview, Hoan Ton-That, had claimed the software was only used by law enforcement agencies and focused exclusively within the US and Canada’s borders. However, an anonymous source disputes this claim on the Buzzfeed article. According to the report, who leaked the entirety of the customer list,  there are thousands of other entities within this list. These entities are spread across 26 countries other than Canada or the US.

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This list includes household names like Best Buy, Walmart, and Macy’s. Other names on the list consist of banks, government agencies, high schools, multiple police departments, and universities.

Unique Security Needs

However, the inclusion of Coinbase, in particular, came as quite a surprise. To many in the crypto industry, Coinbase has been a powerful driver of privacy, which goes in direct contradiction of trying to support Clearview AI. According to a spokesperson that had addressed the issue, Clearview was attractive due to the unique security and compliance needs that Coinbase needs to satisfy.

According to the spokesperson, the cooperation with Clearview AI was in order to see if the service could help Coinbase in particular. According to Coinbase, it wanted to check if it could protect its offices and employees against physical threats and fraud. Coinbase was quick to point out that it has made no commitments to use Clearview AI in the future.

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