Clearview Facial Recognition ordered to delete UK data amid £7 million fine

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The world is turning against Clearview Facial Recognition, a company aiming to catalogue every human on in its database. As a product designed around stealing images from social media, labelling those in the images and selling that data to private companies and police, many are against the company’s existence. 

Over the past year or so, Clearview has been hit with a litany of lawsuits, forcing it to stop selling US data to private companies as well as delete data from other countries. That trend is continuing with another lawsuit, this time in the UK. 

UK fights against Clearview Facial Recognition 

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Via Engadget, the facial recognition company was recently fined £7.55 million ($9.5 million) for illegally stealing images from the social media pages of UK citizens. Fined by the UK’s privacy watchdog, the service was seen as dangerous to UK individuals. 

This isn’t the first time Clearview has been sued by the United Kingdom. In fact, the company has already been fined £17 million as part of a joint investigation between the UK and Australia. However, it remains undeterred. 

UK information commissioner John Edwards explained that Clearview’s data harvesting is “unacceptable”. He explained that the service “not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service.”

The United Kingdom privacy watchdog explained that the service preys on UK citizens. As many people are unaware that they’re having their identities catalogued, it’s a gross overstep of boundaries. They said:

“Clearview AI Inc’s database are likely to include the data of a substantial number of people from the UK and may have been gathered without people’s knowledge from publicly available information online, including social media platforms."

Read More: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly sued for his role in Cambridge Analytica 

Why is this service not banned? 

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Clearview Facial Recognition is steadily getting more pushback from worldwide governments. While bodies like EU Parliament after fighting against privatised Facial Recognition services, they’re also proposing a private alternative

Much like automated weaponry, there’s a lot of discussion surrounding AI surveillance. However, not that much is being done to ward away from it; and even then it’s only fighting private versions. 

Clearview AI is still expected to keep its services going. With the technology being used in situations like the Ukraine invasion, it may still have legs in the future.