Reverse Image Search for faces

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Facial search on the Internet - why Google Images is not the right tool for this job

Facial search on the Internet - why Google Images is not the right tool for this job

Your, a little bit creepy, acquaintance Mark sent you a kind-of-weird photo of a naked person with your face, but definitely not your body. He added that he had found it on a dating site and commented: “I didn’t expect you to post THAT kind of photo ;)”. At first, you thought that it was a malware or virus, or even one of Mark’s bad jokes. But the thought of this photo has been bothering you for a couple of days.

You have made the decision to find out if this photo really was on some dating website. You don’t want to ask Mark about it because the fake photo might be his doing. But how can you find a photo of an unreal person on a website you don’t know the address of? First thought: Google Images. 

The results from Google have freaked you out: the image is real, Mark hadn’t made that up. Apparently, the photo has been uploaded to more dating services. Someone is using the image of your face to create disgusting fake profiles. Your mind is frantically working: What if there are additional versions of photos with other shots of myself? And where did this person find my photos? Google Images hasn’t brought answers to those questions. 

In your situation you need a more sophisticated solution, focused on faces, not on the whole image. Here, PimEyes comes to the rescue. 

Why is PimEyes the right tool for facial search?

PimEyes is a face tracker - it crawls the Internet and finds images of faces. It indexes face parameters (like the spacing of the eyes, the contour of lips). That’s why it can find a face with particular measurements despite the rest of the photo (multiple elements in the background, other people, or things). It can also find an image of the same face with another haircut or contact lenses. Other image search engines, like Google Images, explore the whole picture so they take into account more factors than a face and this is reflected in the search results. To be clear: PimEyes' search results will also be whole images, but they will have been filtered uniquely based on face parameters. That’s why it can provide more accurate results connected to your face.

Using PimEyes you can track down webistes that have been using your photos illegally

How does it look from a technical angle?

Google Images and other services of that type are reverse image search engines. They allow searching by image, not by words, and present results with similar (duplicated) pictures and photos with other dimensions than the one you used (e.g. cropped images).

PimEyes is also a reverse image search engine (it performs searching by image and shows the results with exactly the same or similar photos) but, beyond that, it is a more advanced tool - a face recognition search engine. The fact that it focuses on one part of the photo (the face) makes it possible to recognize different images with that face or ones that have approximate measurements. It is possible thanks to the latest technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, and biometric identification techniques.

How to find a face on the Internet?

Upload a photo and find out where your face appears online.

Try face search


It is important to choose a picture with a clearly visible face (en face shot is the best). In the search results, you will get photos of faces similar to yours, and the website addresses that contain these pictures. You won’t find personal data there. Every result will also contain a score that demonstrates the probability that the face in the photo is the one that was searched. Check the results thoroughly, because your face might appear in photos with a low score. That kind of situation may happen when a given photo is of low quality and PimEyes’ algorithms couldn’t precisely analyze all the face measurements.