Apple has blocked Clearview AI’s iPhone app, saying it violated the terms of its enterprise program because the app wasn’t for internal use.
Clearview AI gained notoriety for partnering with law enforcement on facial recognition, using its database of billions of scraped images from the web. But someone just stole its list of clients.
…Clearview AI disclosed to its customers that an intruder “gained unauthorized access” to its list of customers, to the number of user accounts those customers had set up, and to the number of searches its customers have conducted. The notification said the company’s servers were not breached and that there was “no compromise of Clearview’s systems or network.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement on end-to-end encryption: “Who needs that kind of encryption, other than maybe the military? We don’t even — in law enforcement — use encryption like that.”
Two weeks ago Facebook settled a lawsuit alleging that it violated Illinois privacy laws. Now, Clearview AI is also facing a class action lawsuit in the state.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday on behalf of several Illinois citizens and first reported by Buzzfeed News, alleges that Clearview “actively collected, stored and used Plaintiffs’ biometrics — and the biometrics of most of the residents of Illinois — without providing notice, obtaining informed written consent or publishing data retention policies.”
Not only that, but this biometric data has been licensed to many law enforcement agencies, including within Illinois itself.
All this is allegedly in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, a 2008 law that has proven to be remarkably long-sighted and resistant to attempts by industry (including, apparently, by Facebook while it fought its own court battle) to water it down.
Andrew Orr and Bryan Chaffin join host Kelly Guimont to discuss Clearview AI’s business model and a new wave of iPhone 9/SE rumors.
Last month, we got word that a company called Clearview AI helped law enforcement with its facial recognition technology. Now, Facebook and Google, which also use facial recognition, told Clearview AI to stop scraping images from each one’s website.
Ton-That argued that his firm’s work is protected by the First Amendment and also that Clearview doesn’t do anything Google doesn’t.
“The way we have built our system is to only take publicly available information and index it that way,” he said.
Ton-That added, “Google can pull in information from all different websites… So if it’s public and it’s out there and could be inside Google search engine, it can be inside ours as well.”