Clearview AI Is Facing A $23 Million Fine Over Facial Recognition In The UK
The UK’s national privacy watchdog on Monday warned Clearview AI that the controversial facial recognition company faces a potential fine of £17 million, or $23 million, for “alleged serious breaches” of the country’s data protection laws. The regulator also demanded the company delete the personal information of people in the UK.
Photos in Clearview AI’s database “are likely to include the data of a substantial number of people from the UK and may have been gathered without people’s knowledge from publicly available information online, including social media platforms,” the Information Commissioner’s Office said in a statement on Monday.
In February 2020, BuzzFeed News first reported that individuals at the National Crime Agency, the Metropolitan Police, and a number of other police forces across England were listed as having access to Clearview’s facial recognition technology, according to internal data. The company has built its business by scraping people’s photos from the web and social media and indexing them in a vast facial recognition database.
In March, a BuzzFeed News investigation based on Clearview AI’s own internal data revealed how the New York–based startup marketed its facial recognition tool — by offering free trials for its mobile app or desktop software — to thousands of officers and employees at more than 1,800 US taxpayer-funded entities, according to data that runs up until February 2020. In August, another BuzzFeed News investigation showed how police departments, prosecutors’ offices, and interior ministries from around the world ran nearly 14,000 searches over the same period with