United Kingdom: US company specializing in facial recognition technology Clearview AI sentenced to fine

Clearview AI, a US company specializing in facial recognition technologies, has been fined 7.5 million pounds sterling in the United Kingdom and must delete personal data of British residents, the British authority announced.

The fine – which amounts to 8.85 million euros – prohibits the illegal use of images of people collected from the Internet and social networks to create a global database that can be used for facial recognition.

The UK data protection authority, the ICO (Office of the Information Commissioner), has also ordered the company to stop collecting and use personal data of UK residents publicly available on the Internet, and to remove those it has already collected. have taken.

According to the authority, the company harvested more than 20 billion face shots online from around the world to create a database, without knowing or consenting to their use or collection.

The company offers its customers, including the police, a service that allows them to search online images of a person after registering a photo, outlines the ICO.

“Although Clearview AI no longer provides its services to organizations in the UK, the company has customers in other countries”, so it “continues to use personal data of UK residents”, underlined the ICO in a press release. .

British Information Commissioner John Edwards said “the company not only allows the identification of the people whose photos it has collected, but actually monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service”. .

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