TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian privacy authorities have launched an investigation into New York-based Clearview AI to determine whether the firm’s use of facial recognition technology complies with the country’s privacy laws, the agencies said on Friday.
First came a front-page investigation in The New York Times , revealing Clearview has been working with law enforcement agencies to match photos of unknown faces to people's online images.
Obviously, we're not recommending for anyone to do this, but rather we're pointing out how preposterous it is that they'll only delete the data they have on you if you send them more data, including your government-issued ID.
In a nutshell, the New York Times published an article on Ton-That (and others’ as you will see) tiny company Clearview AI on January 18, 2020 that revealed, among many other serious things, that the company claims to have quietly scraped Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites to assemble a database of 3 billion faces.
Since the New York Times Clearview story was published, there has been some discussion online about using the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—a notoriously vague pre-Internet law intended to punish those who break into private computer systems—to go after scraping of publicly available websites.
The order was issued Friday to county prosecutors, concerning a New York-based company called Clearview AI.“Like many people, I was troubled,” state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said about the company’s techniques, which were first reported by The New York Times.
Clearview AI, which has scraped millions of photos from social media and other public sources for its facial recognition program — earning a cease-and-desist order from Twitter — has been pitching itself to law enforcement organizations across the country, including to the NYPD.
A secretive facial recognition software used by hundreds of police forces is raising concerns after a New York Times investigation said it could "end privacy as we know it.".
A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible, and its app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US, including the FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.