Vermont Attorney General Donovan has filed a lawsuit against Clearview AI, claiming the facial recognition firm has broken multiple state laws.
Clearview AI has scraped millions of websites to amass a database of some 3 billion photos, on which it uses artificial intelligence to analyze. The company then makes its software available to law enforcement agencies. Despite its claims of being responsible with the data it collects, recent revelations have shown that nothing could be further from the truth.
Clearview was caught using its software to monitor when police officers spoke with journalists and discourage them from doing so. The company’s plans to expand and form partnerships with authoritarian regimes was leaked, only to have its client list stolen, showing such expansion plans were already underway. Clearview also has claimed it only makes its software available to law enforcement and security personnel when, in fact, a wide array of investors and other individuals have had access and used the app for their own purposes.
Now Vermont’s AG is taking measures to call the company to account. The complain, “alleges violations of the Vermont Consumer Protection Act and the new Data Broker Law. Along with the complaint, the State filed a motion for preliminary injunction, asking the Court to order Clearview AI to immediately stop collecting or storing Vermonters’ photos and facial recognition data.”
AG Donovan did not mince any words in denouncing the company’s practices.
“I am disturbed by this practice, particularly the practice of collecting and selling children’s facial recognition data,” Attorney General Donovan said. “This practice is unscrupulous, unethical, and contrary to public policy. I will continue to fight for the privacy of Vermonters, particularly our most vulnerable.”
It’s safe to say individuals around the country will be rooting for AG Donovan.