United States: Clearview AI loses its luster following a resounding lawsuit

United States: Clearview AI loses its luster following a resounding lawsuit

Clearview AI does well. The New York company specializing in facial recognition has indeed reached an agreement on Monday putting an end to the most important legal action carried out to date against it. Under the landmark settlement, the company – known for scraping billions of photos of social media users to build a face-search database for use by law enforcement – has agreed to cease sales to private companies and individuals in the United States.

If Clearview AI’s decision turns out to be so drastic, the danger hanging over society was no less so. The latter had indeed been sued since 2020 by the American NGOs American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Mujeres Latinas en Acción for alleged violations of an Illinois law on digital privacy. Passed in 2008, Illinois legislation known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has so far resulted in several key privacy and technology regulations, including a regulation $550 million from Facebook over its use of facial recognition.

Although Clearview AI has agreed to stop selling its services to the Illinois government and local police departments for five years, the company will continue to offer its services to other federal and law enforcement agencies, as well as to government contractors outside of Illinois. “Prior to this agreement, Clearview was unaware that biometric information can be misused to create dangerous situations and threats to their lives. Today, that is no longer the case,” Linda said. Xóchitl Tortolero, president of the NGO Mujeres Latinas en Acción, following this decision.

Clearview AI always in sight

Because the aftermath of this action doesn’t stop there: Clearview AI will now have to maintain a “takedown request form” on its website, so that Illinois residents can upload a photo of themselves to s ensure that their face prints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview search results. The company will also have to pay $50,000 for internet advertising to promote the withdrawal request feature. Enough to give food for thought to opponents of facial recognition elsewhere in the world, while members of the American Congress press for the American federal authorities to cease all use of Clearview AI technologies.

“Facial recognition tools pose a serious threat to civil liberties and the public’s right to privacy, and Clearview AI’s product is particularly dangerous. We urge you to immediately end the Department’s use of facial recognition technology, including Clearview AI tools. Clearview AI technology could eliminate public anonymity in the United States,” they wrote in a recent letter to the US government.

Prior to the outcome of that lawsuit, Clearview said its database – 10 billion strong of publicly available facial images – was the “largest known database of its kind in the world”. The company further boasted that it was on track to have around 100 billion facial impressions within a year, enough to ensure that “almost everyone will be identifiable”.

Source: ZDNet.com

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