Artificial Intelligence: The DHS Is Using Facial Recognition To Mass Solve Old Child Abuse Cases

August 8, 2023 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Source: Forbes Exclusive

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is utilizing facial recognition technology, including Clearview AI, to address and solve thousands of cold cases related to child exploitation. In a recent operation, initiated by a request from U.K. police, the DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit employed facial recognition to identify a man and an infant in a sexually explicit video. This led to the identification of Scott Barker, who was subsequently arrested and charged with child exploitation.

The HSI’s operation, conducted over three weeks, involves using facial recognition tools like Clearview AI to solve historical child exploitation cases. Jim Cole, a former HSI investigator, stated that this initiative has resulted in numerous identifications of both children and abusers. The technology assimilates data from various sources to piece together information that previously wasn’t available. HSI has not officially confirmed these operations. (Forbes)

Sources familiar with the matter indicate that Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology company, was one of the tools used in the operation. Clearview AI claims to have a massive database of images scraped from social media platforms without permission. The tool was employed to scan child exploitation material captured by HSI and Interpol’s database, containing millions of images and videos related to abuse cases.

Privacy advocates express concern about the scale of Clearview’s usage without proper regulation, fearing potential misuse for other purposes. While law enforcement agencies value the tool’s ability to identify and rescue children from abuse, critics worry about its broader implications.

The use of facial recognition technology has raised debates regarding privacy and potential wrongful arrests, as seen in cases where the technology led to the wrongful arrest of individuals. Clearview AI continues to sign contracts in various countries, with applications ranging from identifying deceased soldiers to assisting in investigations related to crimes against children.

Jim Cole hopes that the HSI’s operation will showcase ethical and positive applications of facial recognition technology, potentially altering perceptions of how law enforcement agencies utilize such tools.

Related Story: Clearview’s AI Surveillance Finds Application In The Ukraine War

Photo by Louis Galvez on Unsplash

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