In March, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a tool to help Americans find out which arms of law enforcement have access to their photos. With just a few questions, the Who Has Your Face quiz exposes which agencies know exactly who you are. The EFF wanted to underscore how very basic actions, like getting a driver’s license, make your face fodder for recognition programs — and you can’t even opt-out.
How does it work? — The EFF worked with the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law to determine which government photos are shared with various law enforcement agencies. The quiz is built off of public records from state DMVs and federal agencies like the FBI and ICE. The EFF admits the quiz is limited due to conflicting information as well as a complete lack of responsiveness from various law enforcement agencies, from the hyper-local to the federal level. Nonetheless, it’s still a great starting point and the quiz doesn't collect any data.
There are three main culprits: some form of state ID, a passport or visa, as well as applying to a government job. These seemingly harmless actions have placed half of American adults into a face recognition network. The quiz goes through them all and asks additional questions to surface which agencies have access to your likeness.
Can you do anything about it? — If you’re lucky, you’re in a state like California with strict facial recognition laws, and you’ve never had a passport or applied to work for the government. If you’re unlucky, it’s almost or entirely impossible to get your likeness out of the network.
Despite the chaos around us, it’s still an election year, so you could definitely use your newly found free time to put pressure on lawmakers. And don’t forget about private companies when you call or email. Clearview AI is still dystopian garbage and the extremely hackable Ring barely just gave users the option to not receive video requests from law enforcement.