The Ever photo app turned users’ private snaps into AI facial recognition fodder

A "photo storage application" that allows users to "back up all life memories for free with unlimited free" secretly educates and sells facial recognition software using the customer's personal snapshots.

As detailed in NBC News Startup Ever started out as a simple cloud storage business in 2013, but turned to face recognition technology suppliers in 2017 after recognizing the photo app "wasn."

The company's original 2,500 word personal information.

The customer is not aware of this change or getting information about how the photos and videos are currently being used. Handling policies have helped face recognition to "organize" your files to group the same individual's images. The only acknowledgment that this data was used for AI training is that "your files improve our products and skills, NBC News In April, NBC News has updated this Privacy Policy to add a statement explaining that these "Products" include "Corporate Face Recognition Services." However, experts state that the Company will use its personal information for personal data

NYU law professor Jason Schultz writes in NBC News "They use commercial images of people in their photographs to train products sold to military and law enforcement agencies.

Until now its software has not been sold to military or law enforcement agencies (customers include SoftBank Robotics, a manufacturer of Pepper robots), personal data about users .

However, the pivot shows how to educate facial recognition systems with photographs taken by employees. A massive database of millions of photos in the wild, such as MegaFace and Faces in the Wild, is used by academia and private companies to educate face recognition AI. They often include scratched photos from public websites like Flickr.

On Ever's facial recognition system website, the company boasts one of the world's largest, most diverse and most proprietary tagged datasets with over 13 billion images and videos. The software is used for "surveillance and monitoring, physical access control and digital authentication" and is able to perform functions beyond recognizing individuals and classifying images based on emotion, ethnicity and age.

NBC News said that Ever & # 39; s CEO Doug Aley thinks that if they take enough action to let their users know how to use their data.

"I think our privacy policy and terms of service are very clear and well expressed," Aley said. "They do not use people of legal orientation."

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