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> For a few million dollars, nearly anyone with a startup background could likely build their own version of Clearview in less than a year.

Am I being naive, or is this being overly generous? What about this can not be recreated with an off-the-shelf web scraper and a pretrained facial recognizer?

It's likely to cost you a few million dollars in hardware and multiple months to run your an off-the-shelf web scraper and a pretrained facial recognizer on a very, very large number of images. There are a lot of images on the internet, bandwidth and compute are not free.

I think Clearview having indexed basically all public information about people gives them a serious advantage for face recognition and building up a network of relationships between people.

Maybe over generous, may be not. We shouldn't get stuck on the accuracy of the dollar amount. The point the author is trying to make is that there will always be "ClearView".

So, we need strong legislation around the use of this technology especially when it comes to law enforcement as opposed to trying to kill the idea itself because that's unrealistic. Just as you said, you could start it from your laptop.

You can even upload the scraped images onto google photos (does a boatload of ai classification)

Pretty much anyone with python familiarity can do this.

Probably the scale.

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