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Clearview AI slammed for breaching Australians' privacy on numerous fronts

ZDNet

Australia's Information Commissioner has found that Clearview AI breached Australia's privacy laws on numerous fronts, after a bilateral investigation uncovered that the company's facial recognition tool collected Australians' sensitive information without consent and by unfair means. The investigation, conducted by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), found that Clearview AI's facial recognition tool scraped biometric information from the web indiscriminately and has collected data on at least 3 billion people. The OAIC also found that some Australian police agency users, who were Australian residents and trialled the tool, searched for and identified images of themselves as well as images of unknown Australian persons of interest in Clearview AI's database. By considering these factors together, Australia's Information Commissioner Angelene Falk concluded that Clearview AI breached Australia's privacy laws by collecting Australians' sensitive information without consent and by unfair means. In her determination [PDF], Falk explained that consent was not provided, even though facial images of affected Australians are already available online, as Clearview AI's intent in collecting this biometric data was ambiguous.


'Booyaaa': Australian Federal Police use of Clearview AI detailed

ZDNet

Earlier this year, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) admitted to using a facial recognition tool, despite not having an appropriate legislative framework in place, to help counter child exploitation. The tool was Clearview AI, a controversial New York-based startup that has scraped social media networks for people's photos and created one of the biggest facial recognition databases in the world. It provides facial recognition software, marketed primarily at law enforcement. The AFP previously said while it did not adopt the facial recognition platform Clearview AI as an enterprise product and had not entered into any formal procurement arrangements with the company, it did use a trial version. Documents published by the AFP under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 confirmed that the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) registered for a free trial of the Clearview AI facial recognition tool and conducted a pilot of the system from 2 November 2019 to 22 January 2020.


Clearview AI in hot water down under – TechCrunch - MadConsole

#artificialintelligence

After Canada, now Australia has found that controversial facial recognition company, Clearview AI, broke national privacy laws when it covertly collected citizens' facial biometrics and incorporated them into its AI-powered identity matching service -- which it sells to law enforcement agencies and others. In a statement today, Australia's information commissioner and privacy commissioner, Angelene Falk, said Clearview AI's facial recognition tool breached the country's Privacy Act 1988 by: In what looks like a major win for privacy down under, the regulator has ordered Clearview to stop collecting facial biometrics and biometric templates from Australians; and to destroy all existing images and templates that it holds. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) undertook a joint investigation into Clearview with the UK data protection agency, the Information Commission's Office (IOC). However the UK regulator has yet to announce any conclusions. In a separate statement today -- which possibly reads slightly flustered -- the ICO said it is "considering its next steps and any formal regulatory action that may be appropriate under the UK data protection laws".


UK and Australian Information Commissioners to investigate Clearview AI

ZDNet

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."


Australia and the UK open joint investigation of Clearview AI

Engadget

Australia and the UK have opened a joint investigation into Clearview AI. Specifically, the regulatory bodies are concerned with Clearview's practice of using "scraped" data and biometrics. The two countries aren't the first to question Clearview AI, the company behind the controversial facial recognition program. Clearview AI claims to have a database with three billion images gathered from the open web. It offers that database to law enforcement, supposedly so they can identify criminals and victims.