Face recognition: Clearview AI fined one million dollars in the UK

The British Data Protection Authority ICO (Office of the Information Commissioner) intends to recover Clearview AI a little over £17 million (about 20 million euros). In addition, data protection officer Elizabeth Denham has asked the US company, which specializes in automated facial recognition, to stop further processing of personal data of British citizens and delete it.

Denham accused Clearview of “serious violations of the United Kingdom’s data protection laws,” which are essentially still based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She cites a joint investigation by the ICO and the Australian Data Protection Authority, which focused on the capture of images and data from the Internet and their use for facial recognition by Clearview. With the company’s application, the recordings will be compared to a database of more than 10 billion photographs.

It is highly likely that these images also contained data on a significant number of people in Great Britain and may have been compiled from publicly available online information such as social networks without their knowledge, the agency states. He is also aware that the detection service offered by Clearview AI has been used by several UK law enforcement agencies on a free trial basis. In the meantime, however, the service is no longer offered in Great Britain.

Specifically, the ICO accuses the company of failing to process the data of UK citizens “in a way that they might expect or that is reasonable”. There was also no deletion routine. Furthermore, no valid reason could be identified for processing sensitive biometric characteristics. The affected people were not even told what was happening to their data. Clearview also requested additional personal information from citizens who wished to speak out against the practice.

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The company now has the opportunity to comment on the alleged violations. Denham wants to know about your decision in mid-2022. Civil rights organization Privacy International, which complained about the ICO, welcomes the initiative. She speaks of “a clear message for companies whose toxic business model is based on exploiting the moments we and our loved ones put online”.

Earlier, Johannes Kasper, a former Hamburg data protection officer at Clearview, wanted to know what data processing model the service is based on. After some time, the supervisory authority ordered the company to remove the hash value and biometric template of the complainant. Casper observed that further steps needed to be taken by all European supervisory authorities.


(VBR)

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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