Clearview AI’s legal troubles have spilled over to one of its customers. Macy’s Retail Holdings, which operates the Macy’s department store chain, has been hit with a class action lawsuit that alleges that the company’s use of facial recognition violates the Biometric Information Privacy Act in Illinois (BIPA).
Clearview primarily marketed its controversial facial recognition tool to law enforcement agencies. However, Macy’s was identified as one of the company’s most enthusiastic corporate customers when its client roster was leaked in February. Those documents indicated that Macy’s used Clearview to conduct more than 6,000 individual searches.
The plaintiff in the new lawsuit is Isela Carmine, who filed in Chicago. The suit itself alleges that the use of facial recognition in security cameras infringed on the privacy and civil liberties of Macy’s customers.
While Carmine did not name Clearview AI as a defendant, the company is already facing legal action on several fronts after being listed as a defendant in multiple BIPA lawsuits, including one from the ACLU. Clearview has suspended all of its private contracts to focus exclusively on public contracts in the hopes that doing so will stave off a possible injunction.
It has also ended its public contracts in Illinois in response to its particular legal troubles in the state. BIPA is one of the most stringent privacy regulations in the US, with a recent class action lawsuit with Facebook coming to a $650 million settlement.
Source: BNN Bloomberg
August 7, 2020 – by Eric Weiss