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Parmy Olson

Bringing Facial Recognition to War Is a Bad Idea

A startup’s donation of controversial tech to Ukraine could also help distract from its wider problems.

People fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

People fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.


Perhaps the saying, “There is no such thing as bad publicity,” holds true for controversial technology companies.

New York-based Clearview AI has been criticized by privacy advocates for years because of the way it has scraped billions of images from social-media networks to build a search engine for faces used by police departments. It was the subject of a New York Times investigation, and several countries including France and Canada have banned the company.