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Clearview AI vs Pimeyes: A Comparison of Two Facial Recognition Technologies

By Clearview AI BLOG

In today's digital age, facial recognition technology has become more advanced, and the use of facial recognition tools is expanding rapidly. With this expansion comes a growing concern about the security and privacy of individuals. Clearview AI and Pimeyes are two companies that provide facial recognition services, but they differ significantly in terms of their level of risk, accuracy, data quality, and security.

Clearview AI is a facial recognition software that provides image enhancement tools and searches a database of over 30 billion open-source images, including public social media profiles [2]. It is designed for public safety and governmental use cases, with customer designated administrators reviewing their user activity to ensure responsible and proper use. Clearview AI’s facial recognition algorithm has achieved accuracy scores of 99+% on the Facial Recognition Vendor Test maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) [1]. Additionally, it is SOC2 cybersecurity certified, which means it has a comprehensive system of controls, workflows, auditing, and usage reporting for its data handling and security.

On the other hand, Pimeyes is a consumer-focused facial recognition tool that allows users to search the web for images of people. However, it has no controls or workflows to ensure proper use and no training or onboarding for users. In fact, anyone can search an image on the website without even creating a customer user account. This lack of oversight makes it a high-risk platform that gives users the opportunity to abuse the technology and exploit it for stalking and other illicit purposes. While Pimeyes claims a 90% accuracy rate, it has not been rated by a third-party organization. Furthermore, it has limited data, with a search function that is restricted to less than one billion images.

Clearview AI also allows customers to maintain and store their own image dataset which can be privately searched against an uploaded probe image. This means that customers can easily add their own images, such as images of most wanted criminals, to their private account and compare probe images against specific individuals, improving the accuracy and efficiency of their searches. This feature is particularly useful for government agencies that have their own image databases and need to conduct large-scale searches quickly and accurately.

In contrast, Pimeyes does not allow customers to search their own datasets, limiting its usefulness. This limitation makes Pimeyes unsuitable for use by government agencies and enterprises that need to search images against specific individuals or groups of individuals in their own image databases.

Clearview AI is specifically designed for government and public safety use cases and is committed to complying with government guidelines on facial recognition. In fact, Clearview AI has shared information about its technology and operations with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and has designed its product features to follow the agency’s proposed guidelines for artificial intelligence systems.

In contrast, Pimeyes does not have any controls or workflows in place to ensure compliance with government guidelines on facial recognition. As a result, it poses a high risk of misuse and exploitation, particularly in cases of stalking or other illicit activities.

The difference between the two companies lies in their intended use cases and the level of security and accuracy they provide. Clearview AI is focused on public safety and government use cases, and its technology is proven and has been SOC 2 certified for its cybersecurity and data handling practices, while Pimeyes is consumer-focused and has limited data, no security certifications, and no controls or workflows to ensure proper use.

In conclusion, Clearview AI is a proven and secure facial recognition software platform that provides image enhancement tools and searches a vast database of open-source images. It is designed for public safety and governmental use cases and has a high level of accuracy and security. Pimeyes, on the other hand, is a consumer-focused facial recognition tool with limited data and no security certifications or controls to ensure proper use. As such, it poses a high risk of exploitation and is not suitable for law enforcement or government use.

[1] NIST FRVT 1:1 Verification, October 2021
[2] United States Government Accountability Office: Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Should Better Assess Privacy and Other Risks June 2021, GAO Analysis of information provided by system users or owners, GAO-21-518
[3] CNN
[4] Daily Mail
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