Ukraine provided a tool for searching billions of people’s faces.

    Image credit: BBC

    According to a startup, a system that examines a database of billions of facial photos could help Ukraine find Russian infiltrators, combat misinformation, and identify the dead.

    Clearview AI, a facial recognition company, has offered its services to Ukraine’s government.

    According to the company, it has a searchable database of 10 billion faces gathered from the internet.

    However, data regulators have previously imposed fines on the technique.

    In a letter to Ukraine’s government, Clearview AI offered its services for free. It claims that Russian social media sites provide a substantial chunk of their face database.

    According to the letter, the corporation has over two billion photographs from Vkontakte (VK), a social network that has been dubbed the “Facebook of Russia.”

    According to a Clearview AI adviser, the depth of its Russian coverage makes it more comprehensive than a publicly available competing system called PimEyes, which has already been used to identify people in battle images.

    Ukraine began utilising the technology on Saturday, according to Mr. Ton-That.

    Privacy advocates have criticised Clearview AI’s technology.

    The Information Commissioners Office (ICO), the UK’s data privacy regulator, handed a provisional £17 million penalty to the corporation in November.

    It was also recently fined 20 million euros (£16.8 million) by Italian regulators after it was discovered that it used “what amounted to biometric monitoring techniques” on people in the country.

    And, despite the fact that its technology is used by US law enforcement, the corporation is being sued in the United States for its usage of photos obtained from the internet.

    At least one opponent claimed that facial recognition could lead to people being misidentified at checkpoints.

    “We’re going to see well-intentioned technology backfiring and damaging the very people it’s designed to serve,” Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project in New York, told Reuters.

    Mr. Ton-That went on to say that Clearview AI should never be relied on alone for identification.