The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They have signed a $224k contract with facial recognition firm Clearview AI, according to records surfaced by techinquiry.org
That was for licenses that have to be renewed next year. New York based, the CEO is Hoan Ton-That, an Australian who was previously known for phishing schemes in California (which earned him unwanted attention from the police), where he spent time with a “far right clique” that included Peter Thiel.
Today, Hoan sells to the police, instead of running from them, and Peter was an early investor in Clearview AI.
The technology is used by Homeland Security’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit.
The firm is not a surveillance system and “is not built like one,” the company says. “Analysts upload images from crime scenes and compare them to publicly available images.”
So, Hoan has gone from being “far right” to being attacked by them – the ACLU and other liberal agencies want to prevent the technology.
Artificial intelligence stocks are rare to find, so it is recommended to look instead for companies using AI technology to improve products or gain a strategic edge in their own market,
IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon have all pledged to stop selling facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies due to privacy and surveillance concerns. But that won’t stop them from investing in them. Microsoft (and other big names) made the most investments in AI startups last year (2019).
Facial recognition technology is relatively new and is not going away. It will more than likely explode over the next few years. If your ESG includes helping law enforcement officials make communities safer and, most importantly, protect children – this might be an interesting investment avenue.