Technology is an amazing thing. It’s also dangerous, particularly to gun owners. Google and Facebook have created a backdoor gun registry with their software’s ability to read teeny tiny serial numbers of guns posted on the social media, according to Second Amendment Daily. It’s data mining, and they’ve reportedly made it into a searchable database.
The Firearms Blog (TFB) wrote,
Facebook and Google are Reading and Cataloging Your Firearm Serial Numbers. If you’re an avid TFB reader, you might have read our article about how we’re not concerned about posting firearms serial numbers. However, this does not mean that we should be complacent in the information that we share being controlled or censored.
It’s clear that the firearms community is not being singled out by this data mining operation. And no, you as an individual cannot readily lookup someone’s personal information with only firearm serial numbers. Regardless of this, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and YouTube is owned by Google. As both of these companies are privately owned, but heavily relied upon, the knowledge of this publicly available data mine is unsettling.
How is it possible for an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program to read the microscopic serial number of the pictures of weapons posted on Google and Facebook? Sounds much like SciFi, and is not easily verified.
One FB user named Ken stated, “I entered several serial numbers… got no such response.”
Both articles show screenshots of weapons and accessories that pulled up when the serial number was typed into the public database. The article in Second Amendment Daily called it a “ghost database.”
One of the reasons gun rights groups have always stood against gun registries is this very thing: the potential for abuse is off the charts. Google and Facebook are not just using this data mining technique for guns, but for car license plates as well, according to the articles.
When we tested the serial number of a firearm that we have posted to FB, we did NOT come up with any such results. When we typed in the number, it came up with nothing even close. We tried numerous times, even on Google advanced search, with various parts of the serial number, and again, no results of any firearm, let alone the one that we posted.
OCR (optical character recognition) is not a usually program that should pick up such intricate numbers, some of which are hidden beneath the frame of weapons. Of course we know that the level of technology with Facebook and Google is much higher than those available to ordinary people. Pictures of the weapons, and the owners of them would be easily indexed, which in itself is a sort of “ghost registry.”