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PimEyes facial search engine
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Security & privacy

This face search engine anyone can use is amazingly accurate

Facial recognition software, once a mainstay only in science fiction, is an everyday part of our lives now. We use it to unlock our phones, verify our identities online and even get through the airport faster.

Though useful, this tech can be used without your permission, as seen in a recent $650 million class-action lawsuit against Facebook. The social network was using facial recognition to suggest tags in photos, which broke a privacy law. Tap or click here to see if you can expect a settlement check in the mail.

Like it or not, your face is out there on the internet. If you’ve ever uploaded photos to social media or any other website, there’s a good chance your likeness is floating around. And one facial recognition site is gaining popularity for making it easy to find photos of a person all across the web.

Warning: You may see some blurred images from adult content when using PimEyes.

Here’s how it works

PimEyes uses facial recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning to perform a reverse image search. Simply upload a photo of a person and you’ll come across more photos of that same person. Of course, you’ll probably also see photos of people who look like that person as well. No technology is perfect after all.

photos of Kim Komando
pimeyes.com

PimEyes launched in 2017 and describes itself as “a great tool to audit copyright infringement.” Regarding scammers, hackers and identity thieves, the site claims it gives users “the tools to take action against their abusers.”

While the idea of searching for people using their images sounds creepy, this tool can be useful. You can upload photos of yourself and find images across the internet. This can help you find out if your image is being used online without your permission. You can then track down your face and request your image be taken down. It may not be easy, but at least you’ll know where to start.

Related: Delete your selfies from ID.me – You don’t need this to do your taxes

More than just a reverse image search

PimEyes only searches the open web. It doesn’t look through social media, private accounts or video platforms. It works much like a reverse image search you can perform on Google.

Unlike Google, though, PimEyes claims it can find pictures of you in different backgrounds, with different people or even with a different haircut, a mask or sunglasses. The search engine focuses solely on your face, not the entire picture. You may stumble upon photos of yourself you may have forgotten about or didn’t even know existed.

Want to try it out? Here’s how:

  • Go to pimeyes.com and tap or click Upload a photo in the search bar to locate a photo on your device.
  • You can also use the camera button to take a new photo. PimEyes says it will not store your photo.
  • Select a photo, agree to the terms and conditions, and the search will begin.

Be warned that the free options only go so far. After you perform a search, you can select a photo to see options — and this is where you’ll hit a paywall. If you want to open the website the image appears on, open the image itself or exclude the image from public results, you’ll have to subscribe to a payment plan. You’ll also need to pay if you want to filter results, download an image or set alerts.

Pricing starts at $29.99 per month or $287.90 per year and goes all the way up to $299.99 per month or $2,879.90 per year. Depending on your tier, you get access to limited or unlimited searches, additional search tools, customer support, and staff who can draft and send DMCA and GDPR requests on your behalf to remove your images.

You can request to remove an image from the PimEyes search index, but this won’t remove it from the website where it was found. Go to pimeyes.com/en/submit-delete-request and fill out the information to get an image removed from the site. There’s also a form for opting out your data at pimeyes.com/en/opt-out-request-form.

Though PimEyes encourages you to only search images of yourself, there’s no stopping anyone from using the site to search for anyone else.

Our advice: There’s no need to pay for the service unless you truly need help removing photos of yourself from the web, but it’s worth checking out what you can find using the free version. You can at least get an idea of how prolific your face is on the internet.

Keep reading

Facial recognition to make smart glasses even more of a privacy nightmare

Remove your address and phone number from Google search results

How to get photos of your home off Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com

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