Clearview AI sanctioned in the UK

The American company specializing in facial recognition technologies Clearview AI has been fined 7.5 million pounds sterling in the United Kingdom and will have to erase the personal data of British residents, the British authority announced on Monday.

The fine – which is equivalent to 8.85 million euros – sanctions the illicit use of images of people collected from the internet and social networks to create a global database that could be used for facial recognition. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), the UK’s data protection authority, has also ordered the company to stop collecting and using the personal data of UK residents publicly available on the internet and to delete data that is already has collected.

According to the authority, the company collected more than 20 billion face photos online from around the world to create a database, without information or consent about their use or collection. The company offers its clients, including the police, a service that allows them to find online images of a person after they have entered a photo, the ICO underlines.

Although Clearview AI no longer offers its services to UK organisations, the company has clients in other countries.“, to her”continues to use the personal data of UK residents“, underlined the ICO in a press release. “The company not only allows the identification“people whose photos you collected”,but it does monitor their behavior and offers it as a commercial service“, denounced John Edwards, the British Information Commissioner.

Proceedings against the company in other European countries

Having carried out his investigation in conjunction with the Australian authorities, he noted that “international cooperation is essential to protect the right to privacy in 2022“, announcing a meeting this week with European regulators in Brussels. Contacted by AFP, Clearview AI did not immediately respond. The company recently agreed to stop selling its biometric databases to companies in the United States.

Several processes have been initiated against him in European countries. The Italian Personal Data Protection Authority fined him €20 million last March for having introduced the “biometric surveillance of people in Italian territory“. The Italian Authority had also specified that there were “ordered the company to erase data relating to people in Italy“.

Dennis Alvarado

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