Simon & Schuster pre-empts facial recognition technology exposé

Simon & Schuster pre-empts facial recognition technology exposé

Simon & Schuster UK has pre-empted The Face Race: The Rise of Facial Recognition Technology — and the End of Privacy As We Know It by Kashmir Hill.

Hill is an investigative journalist at the New York Times, who writes extensively about technology and privacy. Her debut book charts the rise of facial recognition through its pioneers – including Clearview AI, purveyors of a facial recognition technology described as "too radical even for Facebook".

The synopsis explains: "From the ways major tech companies and governments are already using and abusing this technology to the consequences of racial and gender biases baked into the AI, Hill’s gripping exposé illuminates how technology is fundamentally reshaping our privacy and our lives, and sets out how we can avoid sleepwalking into a dystopian future."

Hill said: "For the last year or so, I’ve been reporting on both advances in facial recognition technology and on its failures, which have led to the wrongful arrests of three Black men in the US. This particular technology and how it will change our society has obsessed me, but so have the larger trends it represents, in which new forms of data collection and analysis will fundamentally change how we interact with the world and with each other. I’m thrilled to be working with Simon & Schuster to bring this story to UK readers."

Non-fiction commissioning editor Assallah Tahir acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander, on behalf of Adam Eaglin at The Cheney Agency. The book will publish in 2023 simultaneously with the US, where rights were sold to Hilary Redmon at Random House.

Tahir said of the acquisition: "When I started reading The Face Race I simply couldn’t put it down. I am thrilled to be working with Kashmir on her compulsive, terrifying and illuminating account of the past and future of facial recognition. This urgent exposé is not only a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, but a warning that we can’t afford to ignore."