Collaborating Authors

UK and Australian Information Commissioners to investigate Clearview AI


The UK Information Commissioner's Office and Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced on Thursday that the pair would be teaming up to conduct a joint investigation into Clearview AI. In April, OAIC asked questions of the company and issued a notice to produce under section 44 of the Australian Privacy Act. Two months prior, the face recognition company suffered a data breach that included its customer list, the number of accounts each customer has, and the number of searches those customers had made. "Security is Clearview's top priority," Clearview AI attorney Tor Ekeland said at the time. "Unfortunately, data breaches are part of life in the 21st century. Our servers were never accessed. We patched the flaw and continue to work to strengthen our security."

UK fines Clearview AI £7.5M for scraping citizens' data


Clearview AI has been fined £7.5 million by the UK's privacy watchdog for scraping the online data of citizens without their explicit consent. The controversial facial recognition provider has scraped billions of images of people across the web for its system. Understandably, it caught the attention of regulators and rights groups from around the world. In November 2021, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) imposed a potential fine of just over £17 million on Clearview AI. Today's announcement suggests Clearview AI got off relatively lightly.

Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Suffers Data Breach


A controversial facial recognition company has just informed its customers of a data breach in which its entire client list was stolen. Clearview AI leapt to fame in January when a New York Times report claimed that the start-up had scraped up to three billion images from social media sites to add to its database. That makes it a useful resource for its law enforcement clients, which can query images they capture against the trove. The FBI's own database is said to contain little more than 600 million images. Now those clients have been exposed after an unauthorized intruder managed to access the Clearview AI's entire customer list, the number of user accounts those companies have set up, and the number of searches they've carried out.

Canadian Regulators Say Clearview Violated Privacy Laws WSJD - Technology

Canadian regulators on Wednesday said facial-recognition-software company Clearview AI Inc. violated federal and provincial privacy laws in the country by offering its services there, though they acknowledged having limited enforcement powers in penalizing the New York-based company and others like it. Regulators said Clearview collected "highly sensitive biometric information without the knowledge or consent of individuals," affecting millions of Canadians. Clearview has a database of about 3 billion photos it scraped from the internet, allowing it to search for matches using facial recognition algorithms. The practices violated federal and provincial laws, regulators said, including in Quebec where express consent is required to use biometric data. Officials with four Canadian regulatory agencies said they completed an investigation into Clearview that began last February, finding that the company served 48 accounts for law enforcement agencies and other organizations across the country, including a paid subscription by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

LAPD bars use of third-party facial recognition systems, launches review after BuzzFeed inquiry

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Police Department has barred officers and detectives from using outside facial recognition platforms in their investigations after uncovering a handful of detectives had used a powerful commercial software platform known as Clearview AI without permission. In a Nov. 13 directive sent to the entire agency, Deputy Chief John McMahon, who heads the LAPD's information technology bureau, noted that the only facial recognition system that LAPD officers are authorized to use is provided through the Los Angeles County Regional Identification System, which is maintained by the county and compares images input by officers against criminal booking photographs. Other platforms like Clearview, which compare images against millions of images posted on the Internet, are not authorized for investigative use, he said. "Department personnel shall not use third-party commercial facial recognition services or conduct facial recognition searches on behalf of outside agencies," McMahon wrote. "Moreover, any department personnel using FRT shall attend the proper training and obtain a certificate of completion prior to using the system."