Bookmarked The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It (nytimes.com)

Mr. Ton-That said his company used only publicly available images. If you change a privacy setting in Facebook so that search engines can’t link to your profile, your Facebook photos won’t be included in the database, he said.

But if your profile has already been scraped, it is too late. The company keeps all the images it has scraped even if they are later deleted or taken down, though Mr. Ton-That said the company was working on a tool that would let people request that images be removed if they had been taken down from the website of origin.

Kashmir Hill explores Clearview AI and the world of digital tracking. Although this seems like a case of bad faith, I am left wondering how it differs from Google and reverse image searches? What confuses me is the process for having images supposedly removed from the database. How would you even know they are there? This is a point that is discussed on the Download This podcast. There has been many different responses to this, including the call to ban scraping of the web. Cory Doctorow suggests that this is not necessarily the best approach and instead calls for laws which clarify what you can do with scraped data.

If we want to protect privacy, we should pass a federal privacy law — something Big Tech has fought tooth and nail — that regulates what you do with scraped data, without criminalizing an activity that is key to competition, user empowerment, academic and security research.