Clearview AI

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Clearview AI
Company typePrivate
IndustryFacial recognition, software
Founded2017; 7 years ago (2017)
FoundersHoan Ton-That
Richard Schwartz
Headquarters
Manhattan, New York City, United States
Areas served
Globally excluding EU, UK, NZ, Canada, Australia
ProductsClearview AI Software Clearview AI Search Engine
Websitewww.clearview.ai

Clearview AI is an American facial recognition company, providing software to law enforcement and government agencies and other organizations.[1] The company's algorithm matches faces to a database of more than 20 billion images collected from the Internet, including social media applications.[2] Founded by Hoan Ton-That and Richard Schwartz, the company maintained a low profile until late 2019, when its usage by law enforcement was reported.[3] U.S. police have used the software to apprehend suspected criminals.[4][5][6] Clearview's practices have led to fines by EU nations for violating privacy laws and investigations in the U.S. and other countries as well.[7][8][9]

History[edit]

Clearview operated in near secrecy until the release of The New York Times investigative report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" in January 2020.[2] Citing the article, over 40 tech and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and four congressional committees, outlining their concerns with facial recognition and Clearview, and asking the PCLOB to suspend use of facial recognition.[10][11][12] The exposé also identified Hoan Ton-That and Richard Schwartz as the company's founders.[13][14] noting that Ton-That and Schwartz met at the Manhattan Institute.[2]

Early use of Clearview's app was described as a perk given to potential investors in their Series A fundraising round. Billionaire John Catsimatidis used it to identify someone his daughter dated and piloted it at one of his Gristedes grocery market in New York City to identify shoplifters.[15][16] Noted far-right "troll king" Charles C. Johnson had an account on Clearview as well as Tor Ekeland.[17]

Clearview served to accelerate a global debate on the regulation of facial recognition technology by governments and law enforcement.[18] Law enforcement officers have stated that Clearview's facial recognition is far superior in identifying perpetrators from any angle than previously used technology.[19] With Clearview, authorities can upload an image of a suspect's face and match it against their database. The software then supplies links to where the "match" can be found online.[20] After discovering Clearview AI was scraping images from their site, Twitter sent a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview, insisting that they remove all images as scraping is against Twitter's policies.[21] On February 5 and 6, 2020, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Venmo sent cease and desist letters as it is against their policies.[22][23] Ton-That responded in an interview that there is a First Amendment right to access public data and identification results were 99.6% accurate. He later stated that Clearview has scraped over 10 billion images from across the web.[24][25]

In February 2020, multiple sources reported that Clearview AI had experienced a data breach, exposing its list of customers.[26] Clearview's attorney, Tor Ekeland stated the flaw was corrected.[27]

The settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union bans Clearview from providing the social-media capability to corporate clients. Instead of online photo comparisons, the new private-sector offering matches people to ID photos and other data that clients collect with subjects' permission. It is meant to verify identities for access to physical or digital spaces.

Vaale, a Colombian app-based lending startup, said it was adopting Clearview to match selfies to user-uploaded ID photos. In April 2020, Mossab Hussein of SpiderSilk, a security firm, discovered Clearview's source code repositories were exposed due to misconfigured user security setting. This included secret keys and credentials, including cloud storage and Slack tokens. The compiled apps and pre-release apps were accessible, allowing Hussein to run the macOS and iOS apps against Clearview's services.[28] Hussein reported the breach to Clearview but refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement necessary for Clearview's bug bounty program. Ton-That reacted by calling Hussein's disclosure of the bug as an act of extortion. Hussein also found 70,000 videos in one storage bucket from a Rudin Management apartment building's entrance.[29]

In September 2020, it was reported that Clearview had raised $8.625 million in equity during a funding round. The company's filing with the U.S. SEC did not disclose investors in the round. Before the deal, Clearview has raised a total of $8.4 million from investors including Kirenaga Partners and Peter Thiel.[30]

In December 2020, the ACLU of Washington sent a letter to Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, asking her to ban the Seattle Police Department from using Clearview AI.[31] The letter cited public records retrieved by a local blogger, which showed one officer signing up for and repeatedly logging into the service, as well as corresponding with a company representative. While the ACLU letter raised concerns that the officer's usage violated the Seattle Surveillance Ordinance, an auditor at the City of Seattle Office of the Inspector General argued that the ordinance was designed to address the usage of surveillance technologies by the Department itself, not by an officer without the Department's knowledge.[32]

After the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, the Oxford Police Department in Alabama used Clearview's software to run a number of images posted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its public request for suspect information to generate leads for people present during the riot. Photo matches and information were sent to the FBI who declined to comment on its techniques.[5]

In April 2021, documents obtained by the Legal Aid Society under New York's Freedom Of Information Law demonstrated Clearview's expansive, multi-year collaboration with the NYPD.[33] These records demonstrated, contrary to past NYPD denials, that Clearview provided accounts to numerous NYPD officers, met with senior NYPD leadership, and entered into a vendor contract with the NYPD.[34] Clearview came under renewed scrutiny for enabling officers to conduct large numbers of searches without formal oversight or approval. In on-boarding emails, new users were encouraged to go beyond running one or two searches to "[s]ee if you can reach 100 searches".[34] Also in April 2021, Time magazine listed Clearview AI as one of the 100 most influential companies of the year.[35]

The company announced its first chief strategy officer, chief revenue officer, and chief marketing officer in May 2021. Devesh Ashra, a former deputy assistant secretary with the United States Department of the Treasury, became its chief strategy officer. Chris Metaxas, a former executive at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, became its chief revenue officer. Susan Crandall, a former marketing executive at LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Motorola Solutions, became its chief marketing officer.[36] Later that month, the company had numerous legal complaints filed in Austria, France, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom for violating European privacy laws in its method of documenting and collecting Internet data.[37]

In August 2021, Clearview AI announced the formation of an advisory board including Raymond Kelly, Richard A. Clarke, Rudy Washington, Floyd Abrams, Lee S. Wolosky, and Owen West.[38] The company claimed to have scraped more than 10 billion images as of October 2021.[39]

In March 2022, Ukraine's Ministry of Defence began using Clearview AI's facial recognition technology "to uncover Russian assailants, combat misinformation and identify the dead". Ton-That also claimed that they have "more than 2 billion images from the Russian social media service VKontakte at its disposal".[40] In April 2022, the New York Times reported that Clearview had created over 200 accounts for users at five Ukrainian government agencies, which have conducted more than 5,000 searches, and that Clearview has also translated its app into Ukrainian. Ton-That provided emails from officials of three agencies in Ukraine, confirming that they had used the tool to identify dead soldiers and prisoners of war, as well as travelers in the country.[41]

In May 2022, Clearview AI announced that it would be expanding sales of its facial recognition software to the private-sector (in particular apps and school management systems), scraping images from social media profiles.[42]

Marketing efforts and pushback[edit]

Clearview's marketing claimed their facial recognition led to a terrorist arrest.[43] The identification was submitted to the New York Police Department tip line, but the NYPD did not use this tip to identify the suspect, and stated they have no institutional relationship with Clearview, though some 'rogue officers' use it.[44] Clearview claims to have solved two other New York cases and 40 cold cases, later stating they submitted them to tip lines.[3]

The company was sent a cease and desist letter from the office of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal after including a promotional video on its website with the images of Grewal.[45] Clearview had claimed that its app played a role in a New Jersey police sting, which Grewal confirmed had been used to identify one of the child predators. He banned the use of Clearview in New Jersey. Tor Ekeland, a lawyer for Clearview, confirmed the marketing video was taken down the same day.[4][46]

On March 17, 2020, Clearview was pitching their technology to states for use in contact tracing to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.[47][48][49] Fight for the Future responded by calling Clearview a shady surveillance vendor.[50] The idea of using Clearview for contact tracing was not received positively.[51][52][53][54]

Clearview states their technology is not for public consumption and meant for law enforcement usage, but their marketing material encouraged users to "run wild" with their use, suggesting searching for family and friends as well as celebrities. Clearview also indicated they were targeting private security firms and marketed to casinos through Clearview's Jessica Medeiros Garrison.[55] Clearview planned expansion to many countries, including authoritarian regimes.[56] Contrary to Clearview's initial claims that its service was sold only to law enforcement, a data breach in early 2020 revealed that numerous commercial organizations were on Clearview's customer list.[57] A spokesperson for the company claimed its valuation to be more than $100 million.[58]

Senator Edward J. Markey wrote Clearview and Ton-That, stating "Widespread use of your technology could facilitate dangerous behavior and could effectively destroy individuals' ability to go about their daily lives anonymously." Markey asked Clearview to detail aspects of its business to understand these privacy, bias, and security concerns.[21][59] Clearview responded through an attorney, declining to reveal information.[60] In response to this, Markey wrote a second letter, calling their response unacceptable and containing dubious claims, highlighting the concern of Clearview "selling its technology to authoritarian regimes" and possible violations of COPPA.[8][61] Senator Markey wrote his third letter to the company with concerns, stating "this health crisis cannot justify using unreliable surveillance tools that could undermine our privacy rights." Markey asked a series of questions about what government entities Clearview has been talking with, in addition to unanswered privacy concerns.[62]

Senator Ron Wyden voiced concerns about Clearview and had meetings with Ton-That cancelled on three occasions.[63][8]

In May 2022, under the terms of an ACLU settlement, Clearview agreed to a permanent ban from selling its facial recognition database to private companies.[64][65] Clearview paid $250,000 in legal fees and agreed to limit its 20 billion facial photo database to government agencies.[66]

Clearview AI has been known to exert influence over how they are reported on. They have called police officers to ask them why they were communicating with journalists.[67]

Technology[edit]

Accuracy[edit]

In October 2021 Clearview submitted its algorithm to one of two facial recognition accuracy tests conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) every few months. Clearview ranked amongst the top 10 of 300 facial recognition algorithms in a test to determine accuracy in matching two different photos of the same person, instead of the test for matching an unknown face to a 10 billion image database, which more-closely matches the algorithm's intended purpose. This was the sole third-party test of the software at the time.[39]

Documents from Clearview have claimed 98.6% or 100% accuracy using a 99.6% confidence interval. Clearview provided an October 2019 document to the North Miami Police Department indicating they used a public review panel, consisting of Jonathan Lippman (former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, currently at Latham & Watkins, introduced via Richard Schwartz), Nicholas Cassimatis (businessperson), and Aaron Renn (formerly at Manhattan Institute) while using the methodology that ACLU used to test Amazon Rekognition. Jacob Snow of the ACLU responded, stating Clearview's test "couldn't be more different than the ACLU's work", pointed out the accuracy flaws and lack of actual racial bias methodology, and objected to Clearview implying that ACLU might endorse their "dangerous and untested surveillance product".[68][69][70]

In 2021, Clearview announced that it was developing "deblur" and "mask removal" tools to sharpen blurred images and envision the covered part of an individual's face. These tools would be implemented using machine learning models that fill in the missing details based on statistical patterns found in other images. Clearview acknowledged that deblurring an image and/or removing a mask could potentially make errors more frequently and would only be used to generate leads for police investigations.[25]

Assistant Chief of Police of Miami, Armando Aguilar, said in 2023 that Clearview's AI tool has contributed to the resolution of several murder cases, and that his team had used the technology around 450 times a year. Aguilar emphasized that they do not make arrests based on Clearview's matches alone, and instead use the data as a lead and then proceed via conventional methods of case investigation.[20]

According to the BBC in 2023, few cases of mistaken identity using Clearview facial recognition have been documented, but "the lack of data and transparency around police use means the true figure is likely far higher." Ton-That claims the technology has approximately 100% accuracy, and attributes mistakes to potential poor policing practices. Ton-That's claimed accuracy level is based on mugshots and would be affected by the quality of the image uploaded.[20]

S3 Leaks[edit]

While Clearview's app is only supposed to be privately accessible to customers, the Android application package and iOS applications were found in unsecured Amazon S3 buckets in February 2020.[71] The instructions showed how to load an enterprise (developer) certificate so the app could be installed without being published on the App Store. Clearview's access was suspended, as it was against Apple's terms of service for developers. This "effectively disables the app".[72] In addition to application tracking (Google Analytics, Crashlytics), the Android version contains references to Google Play Services (Firebase or AppMeasurement), requests precise phone location data, and appeared to have features for voice search, sharing a free demo account to other users, augmented reality integration with Vuzix, and sending gallery photos or taking photos from the app itself. There were also references to scanning barcodes on a drivers license and to RealWear.[73]

Insight Camera[edit]

Clearview also operates a secondary business, Insight Camera, which provides AI-enabled security cameras. It is targeted at "retail, banking and residential buildings". Two customers have used the technology, United Federation of Teachers and Rudin Management.[74][75]

Use[edit]

Customer list[edit]

Following a data leak of Clearview's customer list, BuzzFeed confirmed that 2,200 organizations in 27 countries had accounts with activity.

The listing below was current as of February 27, 2020, prior to Clearview's May 2022 settlement with the ACLU, to only sell its services to law enforcement and government agencies. Some may only have had trial access, and many organizations denied any connection to Clearview.[76]

American law enforcement and government
Commercial and other non-government entities
International law enforcement

Cases[edit]

New Zealand

The New Zealand Police used it in a trial after being approached by Clearview's Marko Jukic in January 2020. Jukic said it would have helped identify the Christchurch mosque shooter had the technology been available. During the police's trial they searched for people "of Māori or Polynesian ethnicity", as well as "Irish roof contractors" to determine its bias and accuracy. This raised strong objections once exposed, as neither the users' supervisors or the Privacy Commissioner were aware or approved of its use. After it was revealed by RNZ, Justice Minister Andrew Little stated "I don't know how it came to be that a person thought that this was a good idea", going on to say "It clearly wasn't endorsed, from the senior police hierarchy, and it clearly didn't get the endorsement from the [Police] Minister nor indeed from the wider cabinet ... that is a matter of concern."[96][97][98]

Florida

Clearview's technology was used for identifying an individual at a May 30, 2020 George Floyd police violence protest in Miami, Florida. Miami's WTVJ confirmed this, as the arrest report only said she was "identified through investigative means". The defendant's attorney did not even know it was with Clearview. Ton-That confirmed its use, noting that it was not being used for surveillance, but only to investigate a crime.[99]

In another Florida case, Clearview's technology was used by defense attorneys to successfully locate a witness, resulting in the dismissal of vehicular homicide charges against the defendant.[100]

According to Ton-That, Clearview also aided in locating a crucial witness for a case against a defendant in Florida. The person's defense lawyer remarked that the AI was able to get matches in just 3–5 seconds.[20]

Legal challenges[edit]

The company's claim of a First Amendment right to public information has been disputed by privacy lawyers such as Scott Skinner-Thompson and Margot Kaminski, highlighting the problems and precedents surrounding persistent surveillance and anonymity.[23][101] Former New York City Police Commissioner and executive chairman of Teneo Risk Chief Bill Bratton challenged privacy concerns and recommended strong procedures for law enforcement usage in an op-ed in New York Daily News.[102]

After the release of The New York Times January 2020 article, lawsuits were filed by the states of Illinois, California, Virginia and New York, citing violations of privacy and safety laws.[103] Most of the lawsuits were transferred to New York's Southern District. Two lawsuits were filed in state courts; in Vermont by the attorney general and in Illinois on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, which cited a statute that forbids the corporate use of residents' faceprints without explicit consent. Clearview countered that an Illinois law does not apply to a company based in New York.[104]

In response to a class action lawsuit filed in Illinois for violating the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), in May 2020 Clearview stated that they instituted a policy to stop working with non-government entities and to remove any photos geolocated in Illinois.[105][106][77][107] On May 28, 2020, ACLU and Edelson sued Clearview in Illinois using the BIPA.[108][109]

Clearview hired Tor Ekeland and Lee Wolosky of Jenner & Block for its legal team.[104] Ekeland used Section 230 in his defense of Clearview in the lawsuit by the Attorney General of Vermont. The arguments, stated "In essence, the lawsuit isn't about objectionable content hosted by Clearview, but objectionable actions by Clearview itself. That's why Section 230 doesn't apply. I'm not sure how the local court will read this, but it would seem readily apparent that Section 230 does not immunize Clearview in this case."[110] The company also hired Paul Clement and Floyd Abrams to bolster their legal team.[2] Floyd Abrams stated the issue of privacy rights versus free speech in the First Amendment could reach the Supreme Court.[104]

In July 2020, Clearview AI announced that it was pulling out of the Canadian market amidst joint investigations into the company and the use of its product by police forces.[111] Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada condemned Clearview AI's use of scraped biometric data:[112]

What Clearview does is mass surveillance and it is illegal. It is completely unacceptable for millions of people who will never be implicated in any crime to find themselves continually in a police lineup.

In June 2021, Therrien found that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had broken Canadian privacy law through hundreds of illegal searches using Clearview AI.[113]

In January 2021, Clearview AI's biometric photo database was deemed illegal in the EU by the Hamburg data protection authority (DPA). The deletion of an affected person's biometric data was ordered. The authority stated that GDPR is applicable despite the fact that Clearview AI has no European branch.[114] In March 2020, they had requested Clearview AI's customer list, as data protection obligations would also apply to the customers.[115] The data protection advocacy organization NOYB criticized the DPA's decision as the DPA issued an order protecting only the individual complainant instead of an order banning the collection of any European resident's photos.[116]

In November 2021, Clearview received a provisional notice by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to stop processing its citizens' data citing a range of alleged breaches. The company was also notified of a potential fine of approximately $22.6 million. Clearview claimed that the ICO's allegations were factually inaccurate which it would consider appealing as the company "does not do business in the UK, and does not have any UK customers at this time." The ICO released a statement that a final determination on Clearview would be occur until mid-2022.[117] The BBC reported on 23 May that the company had been fined "more than £7.5m by the UK's privacy watchdog and told to delete the data of UK residents."[118]

In May 2022, Clearview agreed to settle a 2020 lawsuit from the ACLU, which prohibited the sale of its facial recognition database to private individuals and businesses.[65] Clearview paid $250,000 in legal fees and agreed to limit its 20 billion facial photo database to government agencies.[66]

In May 2022, Clearview was ordered to delete all data belonging to UK residents' facial recognition data by the country's privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (IOC). Additionally, the ICO fined Clearview £7.5 million for failing to follow the UK's data protection laws. This fine marked the fourth of its type placed on Clearview, after similar orders and fines issued from Australia, France, and Italy.[9]

Potential Far-Right Ties[edit]

In 2017 Charles C. Johnson said he was "building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads." This seems to reference Clearview AI. Johnson knew Ton-That and Clearview AI investor Peter Thiel at the time.[119] Clearview was later awarded a contract with ICE to aid in the detention of illegal immigrants.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ What We Learned About Clearview AI and Its Secret 'Co-Founder'
  2. ^ a b c d Hill, Kashmir (January 18, 2020). "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Clearview AI Says Its Facial Recognition Software Identified A Terrorism Suspect. The Cops Say That's Not True". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "New Jersey cops told to halt all use of controversial facial-recognition technology". nj. January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020. Tor Ekeland, a Clearview lawyer, wrote in an email that they would take the video down, and it was no longer at the top of the company's website Friday evening.
  5. ^ a b Hill, Kashmir (January 9, 2021). "The facial-recognition app Clearview sees a spike in use after Capitol attack". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Council, Jared (January 8, 2021). "Local Police Force Uses Facial Recognition to Identify Capitol Riot Suspects". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ "Riconoscimento facciale: il Garante privacy sanziona Clearview per 20 milioni di euro. Vietato l'uso dei dati biometrici e il monitoraggio degli italiani". gpdp.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  8. ^ a b c "Senators Are Probing Clearview AI On The Use Of Facial Recognition By Gulf States And International Markets". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Clearview AI ordered to delete facial recognition data belonging to UK residents". The Verge. May 26, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  10. ^ "EPIC PCLOB letter" (PDF). Electronic Privacy Information Center. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Backlash grows against Clearview as lawsuit looms". The Daily Dot. January 27, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020. On Monday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and more than 35 other organizations including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, and Free Press Action, sent a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency in the executive branch, recommending the suspension of facial recognition systems in the federal government, citing Clearview AI's relationship with law enforcement.
  12. ^ "U.S. Board Should Seek Facial Recognition Halt, Groups Say (1)". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved January 27, 2020. 'Obvious problems with bias and discrimination in the systems' show the need for a moratorium, 40 organizations wrote in a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
  13. ^ Mak, Aaron (February 7, 2020). "Clearview's Terrifying Facial Recognition Can't Go Back in the Bottle". Slate. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "The person behind a privacy nightmare has a familiar face". San Francisco Chronicle. January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2020. I wrote about Ton-That in February 2009 ('scathingly,' Hill writes), when he was living in San Francisco, developing first Facebook and then iPhone apps. He made the news for creating ViddyHo, a website that tricked users into sharing access to their Gmail accounts — a hacking technique known as 'phishing' — and then spammed their contacts on the Google Talk chat app. (The episode does not appear on Ton-That's sanitized personal website.)
  15. ^ "NYT: Billionaire with ties to St. Petersburg tested facial recognition app". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Hill, Kashmir (March 5, 2020). "Before Clearview Became a Police Tool, It Was a Secret Plaything of the Rich". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Clearview AI Handed Its Facial Recognition App To A Former Trump Staffer, A Troll, And Conservative Think Tanks". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved March 11, 2020. Later that evening, James received a friend request. It was from the bearded man on the plane — Charles C. Johnson, a controversial right-wing activist and accused Holocaust denier with ties to the Trump administration. Johnson did not respond to consecutive requests for comment. { "id": 124311575 }
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  19. ^ Linder, Courtney (January 22, 2020). "This App Is a Dangerous Invasion of Your Privacy—and the FBI Uses It". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d Clayton, James; Derico, Ben (March 27, 2023). "Clearview AI used nearly 1m times by US police, it tells the BBC". BBC News. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  21. ^ a b Hill, Kashmir (January 23, 2020). "Twitter Tells Facial Recognition Trailblazer to Stop Using Site's Photos". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2020. Twitter sent a letter this week to the small start-up company, Clearview AI, demanding that it stop taking photos and any other data from the social media website "for any reason" and delete any data that it previously collected, a Twitter spokeswoman said. The cease-and-desist letter...accused Clearview of violating Twitter's policies.
  22. ^ Igor Bonifacic (February 5, 2020). "Google tells facial recognition startup Clearview AI to stop scraping photos". Engadget. Retrieved February 6, 2020. Following Twitter, Google and YouTube have become the latest companies to send a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview AI, the startup behind a controversial facial recognition program that more than 600 police departments across North American use. Clearview came under scrutiny earlier this year when The New York Times showed that the company had been scraping billions of images on the internet to build its database of faces. Google has demanded Clearview stop scraping YouTube videos for its database, as well as delete any photos it has already collected.
  23. ^ a b Ng, Alfred. "Clearview AI hit with cease-and-desist from Google, Facebook over facial recognition collection". CNET. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  24. ^ Errol Barnett. "Google, YouTube and Venmo send cease-and-desist letters to facial recognition app that helps law enforcement". CBS News. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
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  28. ^ "Breach of Clearview AI Source Code Renews Concerns About Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Programs". CPO Magazine. April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2020. Clearview AI has been one of the central points of contention, becoming something of a poster child for potential abuses and lack of transparency in such programs. The embattled facial recognition startup's road is becoming no easier as an exposed server has been found that contained the source code for the company's facial recognition database along with confidential keys and credentials that would grant a disturbing level of access to the company's internal network.
  29. ^ Zach Whittaker (April 16, 2020). "Security lapse exposed Clearview AI source code". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 19, 2020. Ton-That accused the research firm of extortion, but emails between Clearview and SpiderSilk paint a different picture.
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  40. ^ a b Dave, Paresh; Dastin, Jeffrey (March 13, 2022). "Exclusive: Ukraine has started using Clearview AI's facial recognition during war". Reuters. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  41. ^ Kashmir Hill (April 7, 2022). "Facial Recognition Goes to War". NY Times. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
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  45. ^ Hill, Kashmir (January 25, 2020). "New Jersey Bars Police From Using Clearview Facial Recognition App". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2020. 'We've received the attorney general's letter and are complying,' said Tor Ekeland, Clearview's lawyer. 'The video has been removed.'
  46. ^ "Cease and Desist" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  47. ^ Grind, Kirsten; McMillan, Robert; Mathews, Anna Wilde (March 17, 2020). "To Track Virus, Governments Weigh Surveillance Tools That Push Privacy Limits". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 26, 2020. Clearview A.I. Inc., a facial-recognition startup that has sparked controversy among privacy advocates over its use by police departments, is in discussions with state agencies about using its technology to track patients infected by the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter. The technology has yet to be adopted by any agency, but the New York-based company hopes it will be helpful in what's known as "contact tracing"—figuring out who else might have been with a person known to have the virus.
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