The End of Privacy is a Taylor Swift Fan TikTok Account Armed with Facial Recognition Tech

A viral account is using off-the-shelf facial recognition tech to dox random people on the internet for the amusement of millions of viewers. One victim said they “felt a bit violated really.”
A collage of images from TikTok and the TikTok logo.
Image: 404 Media and Unsplash/Alexander Shatov.

A viral TikTok account is doxing ordinary and otherwise anonymous people on the internet using off-the-shelf facial recognition technology, creating content and growing a following by taking advantage of a fundamental new truth: privacy is now essentially dead in public spaces.

The 90,000 follower-strong account typically picks targets who appeared in other viral videos, or people suggested to the account in the comments. Many of the account’s videos show the process: screenshotting the video of the target, cropping images of the face, running those photos through facial recognition software, and then revealing the person’s full name, social media profile, and sometimes employer to millions of people who have liked the videos. There’s an entire branch of content on TikTok in which creators show off their OSINT doxing skills—OSINT being open source intelligence, or information that is openly available online. But the vast majority of them do it with the explicit consent of the target. This account is doing the same, without the consent of the people they choose to dox. As a bizarre aside, the account appears to be run by a Taylor Swift fan, with many of the doxing videos including Swift’s music, and including videos of people at the Eras Tour.