Facial Recognition Technology, and How It (Almost) Saves Us

As we continue to have discussions on dismembering ourselves from the distinct bubbles of news we tend to read over and over, I have made a conscious effort to use a news source I would normally never read. For this week’s article, I saw a Fox News piece on how a tech company’s facial recognition technology can locate and harness revenge porn photos of you spread throughout the Internet.

The article began detailing the story of Darieth Chisolm, whose abusive ex-boyfriend spread nonconsensual and exposing photos of her across the web. Then, it hinged to the introduction of the app, called FacePinPoint, but state she didn’t use it herself. The app is meant to identify the measurements of your face, and track down photos like the ones of Chisolm circling the Internet as a means of humiliating and exposing victims.

In theory, I find this use of the technology to be innovative, progressive, and inspiring. However, the article even admits, there are many unplanned issues that accompany a service like this. For starters, it has yet to be used for this exact purpose, including by the example victim of the article, and if it has, the app hasn’t claimed so. Secondly, the article admits that locating images is one thing, but getting a court order to contact websites to remove the images is an entirely different and tedious process. Lastly, it uses facial measurements, so its accuracy is dubitable at the moment, and would be impacted by the loss or gaining of significant weight.

This app doesn’t seem like the solution to revenge porn, although it has the right intentions, and can at least catalyze the process of finding the evidence.