PimEyes: a powerful facial-recognition and finding tool – like Clearview AI but for free

You probably haven’t seen PimEyes, a mysterious facial-recognition search engine, but it may have spotted you.

If you upload a picture of your face to PimEyes’ website, it will immediately show you any pictures of yourself that the company has found around the internet. You might recognize all of them, or be surprised (or, perhaps, even horrified) by some; these images may include anything from wedding or vacation snapshots to pornographic images.
PimEyes is open to anyone with internet access.
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Imagine a potential employer digging into your past, an abusive ex tracking you, or a random stranger snapping a photo of you in public and then finding you online. This is all possible through PimEyes
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PimEyes lets users see a limited number of small, somewhat pixelated search results at no cost, or you can pay a monthly fee, which starts at $29.99, for more extensive search results and features (such as to click through to see full-size images on the websites where PimEyes found them and to set up alerts for when PimEyes finds new pictures of faces online that its software believes match an uploaded face).
The company offers a paid plan for businesses, too: $299.99 per month lets companies conduct unlimited searches and set up 500 alerts.
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while Clearview AI built its massive stockpile of faces in part by scraping images from major social networks (it was subsequently served with cease-and-desist notices by Facebook, Google, and Twitter, sued by several civil rights groups, and declared illegal in Canada), PimEyes said it does not scrape images from social media.
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I wanted to learn more about how PimEyes works, and why it’s open to anyone, as well as who’s behind it. This was much trickier than uploading my own face to the website. The website currently lists no information about who owns or runs the search engine, or how to reach them, and users must submit a form to get answers to questions or help with accounts.
Poring over archived images of the website via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, as well as other online sources, yielded some details about the company’s past and how it has changed over time.
The Pimeyes.com website was initially registered in March 2017, according to a domain name registration lookup conducted through ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). An “about” page on the Pimeyes website, as well as some news stories, shows it began as a Polish startup.
An archived image of the website’s privacy policy indicated that it was registered as a business in Wroclaw, Poland, as of August 2020. This changed soon after: The website’s privacy policy currently states that PimEyes’ administrator, known as Face Recognition Solutions Ltd., is registered at an address in the Seychelles. An online search of the address — House of Francis, Room 303, Ile Du Port, Mahe, Seychelles — indicated a number of businesses appear to use the same exact address.
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Source: Anyone can use this powerful facial-recognition tool — and that’s a problem – CNN

CNN says it’s a contrast with Clearview AI because they supposedly limit their database to law enforcement. The problem with Clearview was partially that they didn’t limit access at all, giving out free accounts to anyone and everyone.

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