Despite a denial issued in April of 2020, a recently leaked software log reveals that police officers in The Netherlands used facial recognition software provided by controversial startup Clearview AI to try and identify suspects.
According to the NL Times, a recent report by Dutch newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad uncovered the police force’s use of the biometric software despite the fact that last year Minister of Justice Ferd Grapperhaus stated that officers “have not been approached centrally by Clearview, are not aware of any contacts with that company and have not purchased any products”, when pressed by GroenLinks MP Kathalijne Buitenweg.
Clearview jumped into the global spotlight following a January 2020 front page story in The New York Times that revealed the company was using its algorithm to scrape social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to build a database of millions upon millions of faces.
The report also showed that Clearview was targeting law enforcement agencies around the world, and selling its facial recognition solution without the consent of the companies it took the pictures from, nor the individuals whose pictures it was using for its database.
Over the past several months, the company has found itself in the news time and time again for a variety of reasons, from having its client list stolen by hackers, to being on the receiving end of a BIPA case.
Despite all the controversy, a recent Government Accountability Office report showed that a number of government agencies in the U.S. are still partnered with Clearview, and last month the company announced a further $30 million Series B funding round.
In this instance, the leaked software log showed that the Dutch police used Clearview’s solution somewhere between 50 to 100 times between 2018 and 2020 in what is considered to be a likely violation of the country’s privacy guidelines.
Source: NL Times
August 31, 2021 — by Tony Bitzionis