Faces of the Riot facial recognition

Occurred: January 2021

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WIRED reports that over 6,000 facial images of people taking part in the invasion of the US Capitol building are available on Faces of the Riot, a website that appeared soon after the January 6, 2021, insurrection. 

The site isolates and makes public geo-tagged images of people involved in the insurrection that had been posted to Parler, the social networking service associated with Donald Trump supporters. The images had previously been downloaded by hackers after Amazon had decided to cease hosting Parler. 

Whilst each face on the site is only tagged with a string of characters associated with the Parler video in which it appeared, and faces are not named, the initiative raises privacy concerns. And the site fails to distinguish between lawbreakers and people legally attending the protests.

The creator of the site says he is a college student in the 'greater DC area'.

Operator: Anonymous/pseudonymous

Developer: Anonymous/pseudonymous

Country: USA

Sector: Politics

Purpose: Identify protestors
Technology: Facial recognition; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning 

Issue: Privacy; Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: January 2021
Last updated: January 2022