Friday, September 22, 2023

The walls of Clearview AI are closing in as data watchdogs get tougher

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Shreya Christina
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Europe is working on an AI law that could ban the use of “real-time” remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition, in public places. The current editing of the text restricts the use of facial recognition by law enforcement, except when dealing with serious crime, such as terrorism or kidnapping.

There is a possibility that the EU will go further. The Influential of the EU data protection watchdogs have called for the bill not only to ban remote biometric identification in public, but also the police’s use of web-scraped databases, such as Clearview AI.

“Clearview AI is quickly becoming so toxic that no credible law enforcement agency, government agency, or other company will want to work with them,” said Ella Jakubowska, who works on facial recognition and biometrics for European Digital Rights, a digital rights group.

Hoan Ton-That, the CEO of Clearview AI, said he is disappointed that the ICO “misinterpreted my technology and intentions”.

“We only collect public data from the open internet and comply with all standards of privacy and law,” he said in a statement sent to MIT Technology Review.

“I’d love to have the opportunity to engage with leaders and lawmakers so that the real value of this technology, which has proven so essential to law enforcement, can continue to make communities safe,” he added.

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