A concerning development on TikTok has brought to light the use of off-the-shelf facial recognition technology to dox ordinary individuals, underscoring the pressing challenges surrounding privacy in public domains.
With more than 90,000 followers, the account has been unveiling individuals featured in viral videos or recommended by viewers.
This approach includes capturing screenshots of the subjects, subjecting their images to facial recognition software, and then disclosing their complete identities, social media handles, and occasionally even their employers to a wide audience.
Matthew, a victim of the TikTok doxing, initially engaged in a harmless online interaction discussing Pedro Pascal, without revealing personal information.
However, the account conducted a detailed investigation, utilising facial recognition software and an external website, Pimeyes, to uncover his employer’s photo.
Armed with this information, the account exposed Matthew’s full name and Instagram profile, sparking a surge of attention and varied discussions, including questions about the ethicality of the practice.
The TikTok video accumulated over 675,000 views, accompanied by disparaging comments from fellow tiktok users.
Several victims of this doxing initiative have shared sentiments of violation regarding the potential exploitation of this technology.
Eli Lloyd, one of the victims, stated:
“I worry about the potential application of this technology for something worse than online thirstiness. Like full-blown stalking, for example, or who knows what.”
As evidenced by the X (formerly Twitter) post, the victim expressed relief after the videos were taken down.
Matthew’s case serves as an illustration of the potential risks linked to the improper use of facial recognition technology.
Despite evident privacy infringement and harassment, Tiktok has opted not to take down the account, citing a lack of policy violation.
Experts in social media policies have urged a reassessment of this decision, emphasising the necessity for more stringent regulations and enforcement to combat such abusive practices.