A controversial facial recognition company, Clearview AI, announced last month it had given its technology to the Ukrainian government.
The BBC has been given evidence of how it is being used – in more than a thousand cases – to identify both the living and the dead.
Clearview is perhaps the most famous, and controversial, facial recognition system in the world.
The company has scraped billions of photos from social media companies, like Facebook and Twitter, to create an enormous database of what its CEO and founder Hoan Ton-That calls “a search engine for faces”.
“It kind of works like Google. But instead of putting in a string of words or text, the user puts in a photo of a face,” explains Ton-That.
The company has faced a string of legal challenges. Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter have sent cease-and-desist letters to Clearview – to ask them to stop using pictures from the sites. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office even fined the company for failing to inform people it was collecting photos of them.
Now, its use by the Ukrainian government has raised questions over the implications of infusing this powerful technology into an active war.