Your Face Belongs to Us: A Conversation with Kashmir Hill

Audio of this conversation is available via your favorite podcast service. In 2019, journalist Kashmir Hill had just joined The New York Times when she got a tip about the existence of a company called Clearview AI that claimed it could identify almost anyone with a photo. But the company was hard to contact, and people who knew about it didn’t want to talk. Hill resorted to old fashioned shoe-leather reporting, trying to track down the company and its executives. By January of 2020, the Times was ready to report what she had learned in a piece titled “The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It.”  Three years later, Hill has published a book that tells the story of Clearview AI, but with the benefit of three more years of reporting and study on the social, political, and technological forces behind it. It’s called Your Face Belongs to Us: A Secretive Startup’s Quest to End Privacy As We Know It, just out from Penguin Random House. Penguin Random House, September 2023. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion. Kashmir Hill: I’m Kashmir Hill. I’m a technology reporter at The New York Times and the author of the new book, Your Face Belongs to Us, a secretive startup’s quest to end privacy as we know it.  Justin Hendrix: Kashmir, I’m so pleased that you can speak to me today about your book, which is of course about Clearview AI, but it’s about many other things. I…Your Face Belongs to Us: A Conversation with Kashmir Hill