The controversial face recognition company has caused confusion over the scraping of billions of images of people online without their consent. As a result, the company has faced the wrath of regulators around the world and numerous lawsuits.
One lawsuit filed against Clearview AI was filed by the ACLU in 2020, allegedly violating Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The law covers Illinois and requires companies operating in the state to obtain the explicit consent of individuals to collect their biometric data.
“Fourteen years ago, the Illinois ACLU led efforts to introduce BIPA, an innovative statute to address the growing use of sensitive biometric information without notice and without informed consent,” said Rebecca Glenberg, an ACLU lawyer in Illinois.
“BIPA aimed to limit exactly the type of broad-based surveillance that Clearview allows.”
The case continues, but the two sides have reached a draft agreement. As part of the proposal, Clearview AI has agreed to limit sales of its fingerprint database to businesses and others across the country.
By requiring Clearview to comply with Illinois’ innovative biometric privacy law not only in the state but nationwide, the agreement demonstrates that strong privacy laws can provide real protection against abuse, said Nathan Fried Wesler, deputy director of ACLU Project for Speech, Privacy and Technology.
“Clearview can no longer treat people’s unique biometric identifiers as an unlimited source of profit. Other companies would be wise to consider, and other states should follow Illinois’ example in adopting strong biometric privacy laws.
Most protections will be offered to Illinois residents. Clearview AI will be barred from sharing access to its database with any private company in the state, in addition to any local public organization, for five years.
In addition, Clearview AI plans to filter images from Illinois. This may not capture all the images, so residents will be able to upload their image, and Clearview will block their software from matching their faces. Clearview AI will spend $ 50,000 on online ads to raise awareness of this feature.
“This settlement is a great victory for the most vulnerable people in Illinois,” said Linda Socitl Tortolero, president and CEO of Illinois. Latin Women in ActionChicago – based non – profit organization.
“Much of our work is focused on protecting privacy and ensuring the safety of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Prior to this agreement, Clearview ignored the fact that biometric information could be misused to create dangerous situations and threaten their lives. That is no longer the case today. ”
The protections offered to American citizens outside of Illinois are less stringent.
Clearview AI can still sell access to its vast database to public organizations, including law enforcement. Following the attack on the US Capitol, the company boasted that police used its 26 percent face recognition system.
However, the company will be barred from selling access to its full database to private companies. Clearview AI can still sell its software, but each buyer will need to get their own database to train it.
“In the courts and state houses across the country, there is a battle over who will control the biometrics – Big Tech or the people who track them – and this is one of the biggest victories for consumers so far,” he said. Eli Wade-Scott from Edelson computer.
In November 2021, the Office of the United Kingdom Information Commissioner (ICO) impose a potential fine of just over £ 17 million on Clearview AI and ordered the company to destroy the personal data it holds of British citizens and stop further processing.
Earlier that month OAIC came to the same conclusion such as the ICO and ordered Clearview AI to destroy the biometric data it collected on Australians and to stop further collection.
The full draft agreement between Clearview AI and ACLU can be found here.
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