Every gun picture uploaded to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter is being automatically scanned using OCR and its serial number is now stored.
To prove that this data mining was happening, The Firearm Blog used examples of gun pictuers they had posted to their blogs—and thus of which they had the serial numbers. They typed in the serial numbers and nothing else (no gun make or model, etc) and immediately Google showed them their own blog post with that exact gun in it.
Google had read the practically microscopic serial number from off the gun in their blog post and had used that data mining to add the serial number to their database.
Google is archiving these serial numbers and making a collection of every gun that’s ever been uploaded to the internet. Granted, not every picture of every gun will be readable by their software, but the fact remains that they likely have pictures of millions and millions of American guns stored with their serial numbers in this searchable database.
As you can see from the results below, firearm serial numbers are in fact part of this apparent large-scale data mining operation by companies like Google and Facebook.
Tests were also run on silencer serial numbers, and google pulled up the correct image of those, as well. If you put the serial number in quotes in your search, Google is forced to look only for that string of numbers. And it pulled the silencer image up in seconds.
reminder, if you don't want the whole world to know something, don't post it to the internet...duh.