Clearview Facial Recognition ordered to delete French facial recognition data

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As European Parliament starts to fight back against problematic facial recognition, companies that push the technology are starting to be cracked down. As reported by TechCrunch, the recognition crackdown has already started with Clearview facial recognition.

France takes on Clearview Facial Recognition

Clearview AI is based on around 10 billion images siphoned from Internet selfies. Images from websites and social media are all scraped and used in the facial recognition algorithm. As it turns out, this isn't exactly allowed in Europe.

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After investigating the service, France’s privacy watchdog has deemed that the service is breaking privacy laws. Specifically, Clearview has been accused of breaching Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations.

In an announcement, the French privacy watchdog ordered the company to delete all data on French citizens. At the time of writing, Clearview Facial Recognition has a total of two months to delete all data in its database.

The announcement reads:

“The company CLEARVIEW AI has developed facial recognition software whose database is based on the extraction of photographs and videos publicly available on the Internet. The President of the CNIL has given him formal notice to stop this unlawful processing and to delete the data within 2 months.”

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Step one in fighting facial recognition

As bias continues to encroach upon facial recognition, alongside privacy concerns, European governments are starting to reduce the tech's uses. Deleting all data on French citizens is just the start of this.

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The French privacy watchdog isn't going to stop cracking down of Clearview Facial Recognition. After the data deletion, more orders will follow to stop the service from breaching privacy laws in the EU.

France isn't the only country to fight back against the service’s privacy concerns. According to TechCrunch, Clearview is also criticised in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the company has already been told to delete data on civilians in some of these regions.

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Clearview responds

Shortly after the French watchdog ordered the company to delete data, Clearview responded to strike back against its new orders. While the company was found to be in violation of two GDPR clauses, Clearview believes it hasn't.

The company responded:

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“Clearview AI does not have a place of business in France or the EU, it does not have any customers in France or the EU, and does not undertake any activities that would otherwise mean it is subject to the GDPR.”