Clearview AI Slapped With A Huge Fine For Illegally Scraping Facial Recognition Images
Clearview AI scrapes these images from public social media profiles and employer websites on the grounds that these images are free for the taking. However, not everyone agrees with the company’s point of view. The ACLU took Clearview AI to court over violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires that private companies have an individual's consent before using their biometric data. Clearview AI settled with the ACLU, agreeing not to sell its facial recognition technology to private or government entities within Illinois for five years, and not to sell this technology to private entities anywhere in the US, except for security purposes.
The ICO found that Clearview AI breached UK data protection laws by gathering the information of UK residents without their knowledge or a lawful reason to do so. The ICO also determined that Clearview AI lacks any mechanism to prevent this information from being retained indefinitely. Those who tried to discover whether their images were in the company’s database were asked to provide additional personal information and photos, which the ICO says may have disincentivized people from objecting to the collection and use of their data. As a consequence of these findings, the ICO has fined Clearview AI and ordered the company to cease collecting UK resident’s personal data and delete this data from its database.
John Edwards of the ICO made the following statement: “Clearview AI Inc has collected multiple images of people all over the world, including in the UK, from a variety of websites and social media platforms, creating a database with more than 20 billion images. The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable. That is why we have acted to protect people in the UK by both fining the company and issuing an enforcement notice.”