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2020-05-29

BIPA-suing controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI, data stored illegally

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The American Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) sued the controversial Clearview AI facial recognition firm. The ACLU states that Clearview, which has a directory of more than 3000 million images provided to law enforcement agencies and private firms, is in clear violation of BIPA.

The news agencies, including the New York Times in January, found its technology very accurate and wide-ranging across law enforcement agencies and businesses. Clearview AI has become prominent since last year, with media reports including a highly-profiled inquiry. This tool is effective because Clearview dispersed photographs and other data from social media sites against the rules of these platforms, which results in an image database of over 3 billion, matched to a photo uploaded by sophisticated, machine-learning algorithms.

Over the last five months, Technology companies have sent Clearview numerous cessions and discontinued orders but it is not clear whether the company has ever fulfilled orders for removal from pages and posts of public social networks. The company responded by claiming that it never provides its tools for individual use to the public and, more recently, that it stops selling its technology to private companies and concentrates on law enforcement. Numerous media reports however found that, as part of trial periods, Clearview supplied its product to investors and other high-profile leaders, and critics fear that the system of facial recognition will be the basis for rampant violations of civil rights.

BIPA, Illinois Privacy Law and the only piece of U.S. law that protects facial recognition data from misuse is one way to combat the behaviour of Clearview that could prove effective. It is the same law as Facebook's use of unauthorised facial recognition of photos uploaded to its social network earlier this year, to make 550 million dollars of settlement. The ACLU says "Clearview actions are obviously in violation of BIPA," which requires a company to inform citizens and obtain written consent when any biometric identifier is collected and stored for whatever reason whether it is a face print or a fingerprint.

For several years, a little-known New York-based startup has collected billions of face-up photos from our social media and on the Internet – unique biometrics identification like a fingerprint or DNA profile. The company secretly captured these face-prints, far less our consent, without our knowledge, from casual selfies to photographs from birthdays, university graduation, weddings and so on.

This massive faceprint database was not publicly known, it was offered to private companies, the police, federal agencies and rich individuals to track and target secretly anyone they would like with face-recognition technology.

This company is Clearview AI, and if it is not stopped, its privacy will end as we know it. Today, on behalf of organisations representing survivors of sexual and home violent assaults, immigrant workers and other vulnerable communities, we bring the company to court in Illinois. As the groups show, the face surveillance activities by Clearview are a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and a threat to security and safety that is unparalleled.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

Jhon is an incredibly talented freelance writer. He has been working of about 18 months as a reporter for some internet based print-based newspapers. He brings together significant news reports from the Technology and entertainment areas. we hope you're doing well if you see any inappropriate phrases please let us know on our contact page at the bottom. thank you!    .

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