Clearview AI was dealt a major blow in court, agreeing to completely revamp its business within the US.
Clearview achieved notoriety when it was discovered the firm was scraping popular websites and social media platforms for photos that it used to build a massive facial recognition database. Not only was the company’s actions against the policies of the websites it scraped, but its entire business model raised major privacy concerns among consumers and lawmakers alike. According to The Seattle Times, the company has now settled a lawsuit in Illinois, agreeing to stop selling its services to private parties within the US.
Despite initially claiming it would only sell its service to law enforcement and other government agencies, Clearview was found to be playing fast and loose with who could access its database. The company also struck deals with authoritarian regimes, and has the stated goal having more surveillance than China.
As part of its settlement, Clearview agrees to permanently stop selling to private parties within the US, and will suspend sales to any Illinois-based state government agencies or police departments for five years. The company’s contracts with federal agencies are unaffected.
The settlement is good news for privacy advocates, and helps restrain one of the sleaziest businesses on the market. There’s still another case pending before a federal judge in Illinois that will hopefully bring further restrictions.