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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.