Facial recognition firm Clearview AI fined £7.5m for unauthorized use of images of Brits taken from online | Science & Technology News

Facial recognition firm Clearview AI has been fined more than £7.5 million by the UK privacy watchdog for collecting facial images of people in the UK from the web and social media. .

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says that globally, the company has illegally collected more than 20 billion images of people’s faces to create a global online database for facial recognition. .

It has issued an enforcement notice asking the company to stop collecting and using the personal data of UK residents and delete the data it has collected about them.

The ICO states: “Given the high number of Internet and social media users in the UK, Clearview AI’s database is likely to include a large amount of data from UK residents, which has already included large amounts of data from UK residents. collected without their knowledge”.

“While Clearview AI no longer provides its services to organizations in the UK, it has customers in other countries, so it is still using the personal data of UK residents. Great Britain.”

Clearview AI offers an app that customers can use to upload someone’s photo to try and identify them by checking them against its illegal database.

The company’s customers include many commercial and police organizations, and its database has raised concerns from US politicians and civil liberties organizations.

John Edwards, UK information commissioner, said the company “allows not only to identify ‘people in its database’ but to effectively monitor their behavior and provide commercial services”. That is unacceptable.”

In November 2021, the watchdog announced its intention to temporarily fine the company more than £17 million as part of a joint investigation with the Australian privacy watchdog. It is not clear why the final penalty was only £7.5 million.

A spokesperson told Sky News it has not released an official fine notice – which normally includes details of the investigation – as the document is still going through the response process, a spokesman said. with Sky News.

The fine was announced as the ICO participated in an international privacy conference on facial recognition and privacy.

Sky News has contacted Clearview for feedback on the fine.

Police use of facial recognition technology has been controversial in the UK and beyond.

Fraser Sampson, biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner, recently warned police forces against deploying the technology. to identify potential witnesses and not just suspects.

The successor independent commissioners have warned that automatic facial recognition technology is even more intrusive than the collection of DNA and fingerprints by police.

However, unlike those biometrics, the government has not placed facial recognition images on a specific statutory basis to ensure limits and oversight on how authorities can use them. use them.

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