AustraliaDH Latest NewsDH NEWSUSArmydeatharms & ammunationsLatest NewsNEWSofficials and personalscyberTechnologyInternationalDefence

Face recognition technology identifies ‘deceased Russian soldiers’ and notifies their families

According to Ukraine’s vice prime minister, facial recognition software is being used by the nation to identify the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in combat and inform their families about their deaths. Reuters exclusively reported that Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has begun using facial recognition technology from Clearview AI, a New York-based facial recognition company that finds online images that match faces from uploaded photos.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and head of the ministry of digital transformation, told Reuters that Ukraine has been using Clearview AI software to find the social media accounts of dead Russian soldiers. He said authorities are in the process of contacting relatives about the body collection.

‘The information is being disseminated via social media to at least notify families that their sons have died and enable them to come to collect them,’ Fedorov said via a translator. In a statement to Reuters, Fedorov did not specify the number of bodies identified through facial recognition but noted that the percentage of recognized individuals claimed by families had been high. Reuters has not been able to independently verify this. Civil rights groups have been critical of Ukraine’s adoption of Clearview, citing the possibility of misidentification.

Clearview is defending itself in a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in Chicago by consumers. The case concerns whether the company violated privacy laws by gathering images from the internet. Clearview maintains that its actions have been legal. According to the company, face matches should only serve as a starting point for investigations. According to Fedorov, Ukraine is not using the technology to identify its own soldiers who died in battle.

Requests for comment from Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs went unanswered. There is an online form where Russian family members may submit a claim for the collection of their loved one’s body. The Ukrainian government oversees the Look For Your Own project, a Telegram channel that posts images of unidentified captured or killed soldiers. Fedorov did not detail how the bodies are being returned to families and Reuters did not independently confirm it.

According to Ukraine’s military, some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded on Feb 24. According to Russian reports, its casualties have been much lower during the ‘special military operation’ to demilitarize Ukraine. Kremlin officials did not respond to an email requesting comment on Ukraine’s use of Clearview. Despite the Russian invasion, Clearview states its search engine now includes over two billion images from VKontakte, an online social media service popular in Russia.

The government of Ukraine has been able to use many free tools, such as cloud services, as Western governments assist the country, Fedorov said. Amazon declined to comment. A forensic medicine professor at Monash University in Australia says fingerprints, dental records, and DNA are the most common methods of establishing an individual’s identity.

The problem of obtaining pre-death samples from enemy fighters, however, opens a door for innovative techniques such as facial recognition. According to Bassed, who has been researching this technology, clouded eyes, injured faces, and expressionless faces could make facial recognition unreliable on the dead. United States’ Armed Forces Medical Examiner System said it has not implemented automated facial recognition due to lack of acceptance of the technology among forensic communities.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button