Clearview AI has promised it will end all contracts with private companies in the face of public backlash and lawsuits.
Clearview made news as a facial recognition firm that had scraped billions of images from the web and social media, and then made them available for facial recognition searches. The company has repeatedly tried to portray itself as a responsible steward of the technology it has developed and is making available, initially claiming its service was only for law enforcement and government agencies.
In short order, however, it has become apparent Clearview cannot be trusted. Reports surfaced that the company was selling its services internationally, including to oppressive regimes. One of the more disturbing revelations was that the company was monitoring the searches performed by law enforcement and using that information to try to discourage police from talking with journalists.
Throughout it all, however, the company has continued to maintain that it only made its software available to law enforcement and select security personnel — only that wasn’t true. Reports showed the company had made its software available to a many private companies and individuals, including some who used it for their own personal benefit.
According to BuzzFeed, in an effort to deal with the lawsuit it is facing in Illinois, the company is now promising it will cancel its contracts with private organizations.
“Clearview is cancelling the accounts of every customer who was not either associated with law enforcement or some other federal, state, or local government department, office, or agency,” the company said in a filing BuzzFeed has seen. “Clearview is also cancelling all accounts belonging to any entity based in Illinois.”
There’s only one problem with this promise: It comes from a company that has already proven itself to be dishonest, unscrupulous and completely untrustworthy. Here’s to hoping the judge sees right through this latest ploy.