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Tinder match? Use facial recognition first

Recent developments in AI mean nobody is anonymous nowadays. The search engine PimEyes can find any photo of anyone that’s ever been placed online. No more Tinder Swindlers… or personal privacy. Everyone’s findable now. But is that even allowed?

For a private individual, the use of PimEyes is unlikely to constitute an immediate violation of the GDPR’, says Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, Professor of Law and Digital Technologies in Dutch news website De Correspondent. He thinks that the rise of facial recognition is unstoppable anyway. Eventually there’ll be ten other search engines like PimEyes. Zwenne says,I always tell my students: you should regularly look yourself up online. It's useful to know which information other people can access about you.’ 

According to the GDPR, PimEyes is in theory allowed to process this kind of personal data. Google also does it. Zwenne explains: ‘If we start banning this type of processing now, then that will be it. There'll be no more search engines.’ 

How can you prevent unwanted photos of yourself from popping up on PimEyes? The right to erasure takes care of that. You have the right to submit a free request to ‘forget’ specific photos of yourself. The search engine has to comply with your request within one month. However, you do have to justify your request. Zwenne continues,If you say something like: this photo is completely irrelevant, unnecessary, causes me unnecessary harm, has no social benefit, there’s no issue of freedom of information, I’m not a public figure... then there’s a good chance the image will be removed.’ 

More information

Read the full interview (in Dutch) in De Correspondent.

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