Clearview AI has been fined $ 9.5 million by the UK’s privacy watchdog for illegally collecting facial images of UK residents on social media and the web.
He was also ordered to stop obtaining UK resident data and to delete all data he had already collected. “The company not only allows the identification of those people, but also effectively monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable, “said British Information Commissioner John Edwards in a statement.
The Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) in the UK has opened a joint investigation with Australia into Clearview AI in 2020 and issued a preliminary fine of $ 21.4 million against the company late last year. At the time, the office noted that “Clearview AI Inc’s database is likely to include data from a substantial number of people in the UK and could be collected without the knowledge of people from publicly available information online, including social media platforms”.
Personal data must be protected
In issuing a final order, the ICO noted that globally, the company had illegally collected over 20 billion facial images for its database. “Although Clearview AI no longer provides services to organizations in the UK, the company has customers in other countries, so the company still uses the personal data of UK residents,” the statement said.
Clearview AI sells an application that can be used to upload a photo of someone, and then tries to identify it by checking the database. The data has been used by thousands of law enforcement agencies, despite the fact that the technology is in a legal gray area.
Twitter, Google and YouTube have sent termination and termination letters to the company, claiming that it violates their terms and conditions. Facebook has also demanded that Clearview stop relocating. The company has received complaints from privacy groups in Europe and has been fined € 20 million in Italy.
In the United States, the ACLU has sued Clearview for violating Illinois law. The company recently resolved that process by agreeing to restrict the use of the database in Illinois, although it will continue to provide it to federal agencies and other states.