Last week, we reported that Clearview AI had a rough time because of the fact that their systems got hacked and this meant that their facial recognition data got leaked. Now, it is known that most of the clients for Clearview AI are law enforcement agencies and security services which use their facial data for tracking and identifying humans. Therefore, this leak also exposed their list of clients which had been kept private up until now.
However, a new problem is now in the hands of Clearview AI because they have just been sued by Vermont. Apparently, Vermont’s Attorney General T.J. Donovan has filed a lawsuit against Clearview saying that what they are doing is a violation of multiple state laws. This is in context with the 3 billion images that Clearview AI has scrapped from the internet to build a database.
According to this complaint against Clearview by Vermont, it accuses them that they “unlawfully acquire data from consumers and business concerns”. The lawsuit also mentions that Clearview built this database on the back of “publicly available” information from platforms such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Most of these platforms have also ordered cease-and-desist letters telling Clearview to knock them off.
The lawsuit reads that “Once entered into a facial-recognition database, the individual loses an enormous measure of anonymity, privacy, and freedom,”. The complaint continues with its argument that “Easily accessible facial recognition would permit governments, stalkers, predators, and con artists to instantly identify any stranger and, combined with other readily available data sources, know extensive details about their family, address, workplace, and other characteristics.”
Also, the complaint targets the use of this data by the police while mentioning that “Clearview encouraged police officers to use the tool on innocent citizens,” citing reports which reveal Clearview’s marketing tactics to the police.