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AI Website That Uses Facial Recognition To Find Every Image Of You On The Web Has People Creeped Out

While its intentions are noble, PimEyes has come under fire for being the perfect tool for stalkers to use.

Man using face recognition technology on his cell phone
@dowell/Getty Images

Admittedly, AI content generation technology and face recognition technology are not new features in the year 2023.

Rather, with hilarious takes on commercials, plays and interpersonal communication, AI-generated content created popular memes. And face recognition technology has been used on mobile devices, especially iPhones, and by law enforcement for years.

But the advances in these forms of tech have given many people pause recently.

One bit of technology currently receiving mixed reviews is PimEyes—an AI website that utilizes facial recognition technology to track every image of a person available on the worldwide web. This may even include privatized social media posts and photos.

Though reverse-image searching is also not a new feature—it's a popular feature on Google Images for more than the past decade—PimEyes takes reverse-image searching several steps further by combining reverse-image search features with facial recognition.

When a person reverse-image searches a photo of a friend from high school using PimEyes, they theoretically would see all other photos available of that person online: past, present and possibly private.

Tech development analyst Rowan Cheung was put off by the site and found its capabilities "disturbing."

The site currently allows a user to complete three free searches. They can then purchase monthly memberships for $37, $100 or $375 per month.

Though the concept sounds inherently creepy, PimEyes claims it's meant to be a positive force online, allowing a person to take back their online presence one photo at a time.

The website claims:

"Using the latest technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, we help you find your pictures on the internet and defend yourself from scammers, identity thieves, or people who use your image illegally."

AI and social media analyst Kristen Ruby pointed out:

"I like PimEyes. The tool is controversial, but it is one of the best tools for finding who has used my face without my consent. I then send takedown notices."

Cheung explained he had tested the capabilities of the site using his own photo and was surprised by its "speed and accuracy," but claimed it was "super creepy."

What might be more off-putting to some is the way to opt out of being included on the site.

PimEyes will allow any user to "opt out" of being included on their image database, but only after uploading an ID or passport for "verification," which might lead some to question where and how their personal information will be used.

Others were validly concerned about the power this site could potentially give to stalkers.

But the Terms of Service page on the site claims to have thought of this concern already.

"If our data security unit reveals abuse of service, such as stalking, or violation of children's privacy rights, the account will be banned permanently without right to a refund."

This all sounds promising and well thought-out on paper, but like any new technology there are bound to be issues that spring up.

Where someone's identity and privacy are involved, all concerns and questions about the new technology are valid.