The hits keep on coming for Clearview AI, with the UK’s privacy watchdog fining the company $9.4 million and demanding it delete its data on UK residents.
Clearview AI is the company that took privacy-invading facial recognition to depths previously unheard of, proudly promising to deliver a more comprehensive surveillance system than China. The company scraped images from social media and countless other sites, building a massive database it claimed was only for government and law enforcement use. Those claims proved untrue, with the company being about as irresponsible with its product as one would expect, based on its shady practices.
After a string of legal setbacks, the UK has dealt the company another one, fining it millions and ordering it to stop collecting and using the images and data of UK residents, according to ZDNet. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) engaged in a two-year investigation of Clearview, in cooperation with the Office of Australian Information Commissioner.
The investigation concluded that the company illegally obtained residents’ photos without proper disclosure, had no legal basis for collecting the photos, didn’t take the proper precautions with the data it collected, and was ultimately in violation of the GDPR.
“Clearview AI Inc has collected multiple images of people all over the world, including in the UK, from a variety of websites and social media platforms, creating a database with more than 20 billion images,” said John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner.
“The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable. That is why we have acted to protect people in the UK by both fining the company and issuing an enforcement notice.
“People expect that their personal information will be respected, regardless of where in the world their data is being used. That is why global companies need international enforcement.”
Hopefully the company continues to face these kind of legal setbacks.