Clearview AI Scraped 30 Billion Images From Facebook and gave them to cops

US police have used the database nearly a million times:

Clearview took photos without users' knowledge, its CEO Hoan Ton-That acknowledged in an interview last month. Doing so allowed for the rapid expansion of the company's massive database, which is marketed on its website to law enforcement. [...]

Ton-That said "Clearview AI's database of publicly available images is lawfully collected, just like any other search engine like Google."

Notable privacy advocate Facebook begs to differ:

"Clearview AI's actions invade people's privacy which is why we banned their founder from our services and sent them a legal demand to stop accessing any data, photos, or videos from our services," a Meta spokesperson said. [...]

Residents of Illinois can opt out of the technology (by providing another photo that Clearview AI claims will only be used to identify which stored photos to remove) after the ACLU sued [...] However, residents of other states do not have the same option [...]

"Clearview is a total affront to peoples' rights, full stop, and police should not be able to use this tool," Caitlin Seeley George, the director of campaigns and operations for Fight for the Future said, adding that "without laws stopping them, police often use Clearview without their department's knowledge or consent, so Clearview boasting about how many searches is the only form of 'transparency' we get into just how widespread use of facial recognition is."

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5 Responses:

  1. They had a really clear view!  Get it?  Company name checks out.

  2. Carlos says:

    The whole "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" ethos kind of falls flat when they don't do either, and there aren't any consequences.


    • Big says:

      Modern take on that saying: "It's better to take all the money off the table before anybody else gets any, and then destroy the table and pretend it never existed."

  3. MattyJ says:

    If memory serves, there was a now forgotten/ignored controversy a while back when people found out that pictures you upload to Facebook are Facebook's property, not yours. Per usual, this isn't Facebook being benevolent, it's Facebook defending their own privacy invasion tech.

  4. laura says:

    Hey there, how are you all doing?

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