PimEyes Brings Facial Recognition to the Masses

December 18, 2020

If a search engine based on facial recognition is controversial when in the hands of law enforcement, it is downright scary when made available to the general public for free. However, it comes as no surprise to those of us who follow such things that PetaPixel reveals, “This Creepy Face Search Engine Scours the Web for Photos of Anyone.” Officially marketed as a way for users to protect their own privacy, PimEyes uses facial recognition technology to hunt down photos of anyone across the Web. The basic, one-time search is free, but for an extra $15 one can receive up to 25 alerts a month as the service searches perpetually. Reporter Michael Zhang writes:

“After you provide one or more photos of a person (in which their face is clearly visible), PimEyes compares that person to faces found on millions of public websites — things like news articles, blogs, social media, and more. Within a few seconds, it provides results showing other photos found that match the person and links to where those portraits were found. … Google’s popular reserve image search can find photos similar in appearance to images you provide, but PimEyes specifically uses facial recognition and can accept multiple reference photos to find images of specific individuals.”

The brief write-up cites this OneZero article. It also shares an example search featuring the lovely, and often photographed, Meghan Markle. Based in Poland, PimEyes was created in 2017 and commercialized in 2019.

Cynthia Murrell, December 18, 2020


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