Clearview AI will stop selling database access to private companies, but will continue to work with law enforcement agencies.
Facial recognition software company Clearview AI has agreed to stop selling access to its 20-billion-strong photo database to private US corporations and individuals, according to a settlement filing Monday, awaiting approval from a Chicago judge.
The startup has also agreed to stop allowing the Illinois state government and police departments to use its database for five years, although it will continue to work with federal agencies and non-Illinois law enforcement and government contractors.
The ruling does not end a two-year court battle with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which sued the state of Illinois for violating the digital privacy law – another state privacy lawsuit has not yet been decided – but both sides have declared it a success.
Despite the open nature of the settlement, which would allow Clearview to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies as was the case much earlier, Linda Jochital Turtolero, an ACLU co-plaintiff, welcomed the decision. “Huge victory.”
Attorney Floyd Abrams, part of Clearview’s defense team, noted this “The settlement does not require any material changes to the company’s business model or prevent any behavior that is currently involved.” Abrams noted that the company had not worked with Illinois police for some time and had complied with a five-year ban. “Avoid a long, costly and confusing legal dispute with ACLU and others.”
Additionally, despite Clearview’s ongoing insistence that it did nothing wrong, co-founder and CEO Juan Ton-That told the AP last month that it was a “Consent Based” Business model using its existing algorithms for face recognition – but not its 20-billion-strong image hoard, which has been declared off-limits for private companies claiming ton-that.
The AI algorithm that powers ClearView is alleged to no longer require access to multiple images, “Flame” Whatever it may be based on their scanning.
A group of U.S. lawmakers warned earlier this year that the company’s product could be “Eliminate Public Anonymity in the United States,” Even technology competitors from companies like Google and Facebook have tried to block Clearview from data-mining their own products.
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which ACLU used after Clearview, allows individuals to sue companies for collecting biometric data without prior permission. It has also been deployed against Facebook, which last year coughed up 650 million for tagging a person’s face in a photo without their consent.
Ton-Dat has defended the capabilities of its software by insisting that it would never sell it to a friendly government, the technology is only as secure as secure law enforcement agencies and private corporations have bought access to ClearView over hundreds of years. .
Although Clearview’s algorithms may formally operate within the limits of the law, hackers stole the firm’s customer list in 2020. In response to the hacking, a lawyer for the company said that “Data breaches are part of 21st century life.”
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