Your Face Belongs to Us review: What is happening to public privacy?

A police facial recognition unit in Cardiff, Wales, near a Harry Styles concert in June

Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Your Face Belongs to Us
Kashmir Hill (Simon & Schuster)

IN 2011, two things happened within a few weeks. Eric Schmidt, then executive chair of Google, said the company had decided not to build a facial recognition database because doing so was “crossing the creepy line”. Then Facebook released just such a feature, automatically tagging people in uploaded photographs, grouping them and asking users to identify anyone it couldn’t. It eventually discontinued the system in 2021.

The …

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