Several privacy groups in Europe have filed complaints against Clearview AI1. June 2021
Several privacy groups in Europe have filed complaints against Clearview AI
They accuse the facial recognition company of violating local privacy laws by collecting photos of people without permission from websites. New York-based Clearview notes that it is not currently available to customers in the European Union.
Clearview has compiled a database of more than 3 billion publicly available images that it automatically extracts from social media. It uses AI-based facial recognition to compare them to other images that might contain suspects, for example. The company sells its system mainly to law enforcement agencies in the US.
The complaints were filed by Privacy International (PI), Noyb and others in Austria, France, Greece, Italy and the UK. They are asking European regulators to formally declare Clearview’s practices “not permitted in Europe.”
“Extracting our unique facial characteristics, or even sharing them with police and other companies, goes far beyond what we as online users could ever expect,” PI’s Ioannis Kouvakas told Bloomberg.
Last year, British and Australian authorities launched a joint investigation into Clearview’s privacy practices. In April, a coalition of U.S. senators introduced a bill that would prohibit Clearview AI and other “data brokers” from selling their data to police.
Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That said the company has no contracts with EU clients and complies with transparency requirements mandated by law.