The controversial facial recognition platform Clearview AI is a private database that takes the of billions online to sell to security companies. With a plan to catalogue every human on Earth, Clearview Facial Recognition is a product that has been overwhelmingly criticised in countries across the globe.
Nevertheless, with critics everywhere, Clearview AI is still going ahead as planned with contracts across the globe. From police surveillance to military usage to personal use, the technology sells. However, the service will now stop private sales in one region: the United States.
United States stops Clearview Facial Recognition sales
In a new announcement, Clearview AI agreed to stop the sale of its facial recognition database do private businesses and rich individuals in the United States. However, the service can still be used by police forces as well as private companies outside of the US.
This change comes as part of a settlement in a two-year lawsuit against the state of Illinois. In the lawsuit, the New York-based company was accused of stealing and selling the images of citizens without consent. Clearview argued that if the images are freely available on Google or social media then they can do whatever they want with them.
The lawsuit argued that Clearview Facial Recognition could be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands. For example, a particularly wealthy stalker could use the software to track specific women across the world. Additionally, the software could be used by criminals to find victims in witness protection.
This isn't the first example of Illinois fighting facial recognition. Last year, the State’s Biometric Information Privacy Act resulted in a massive $650m lawsuit for Facebook, now Meta. After losing the lawsuit, Facebook also deleted biometric data for all users on its service.
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The company is still a problem
Clearview Facial Recognition is the Orwellian concept of Big Brother come true. Without consent of individuals, the technology is stealing identities and letting anyone pay to identify a person. Furthermore, while that feature may be banned in the United States, it’s still available almost everywhere else.
The purpose of facial recognition is to oppress through the elimination of anonymity, to make everyone always known regardless of consent. Well, unless they're Amish or completely avoid the Internet. Clearview and facial recognition in general is about exposing the general public, not protecting them.