The plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in January against facial recognition company Clearview AI is asking a federal judge for a preliminary injunction requiring Clearview to destroy any biometric data it has already collected.
The lawsuit — filed by plaintiff David Mutnick — claims that Clearview is in violation of the Illinois Biometric Protection Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which prohibits companies from collecting any biometric data without their consent.
“It has been revealed that defendants’ conduct is much more egregious — and their dangerous technology far more widespread — than was known when plaintiff commenced this action,” lawyers representing David Mutnick allege in papers filed Wednesday with U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the Northern District of Illinois.
In his case Mutnick argues that Clearview’s practice of scraping social media sites across the internet and compiling a database of facial images would violate BIPA, and would require them to stop doing so, with the latest injunction also requiring that they destroy whatever data has already been collected.
Since a front-page story in The New York Times revealed that Clearview was selling its services to law enforcement agencies across North America, the company has faced cease-and-desist orders from Facebook, Youtube, Google, and Twitter.
Adding to what has been a bad string of months for Clearview, it was also reported in February that its client list was stolen by hackers, and in March that it had given private access to its app to investors.
“Plaintiff and class members should not have to accept defendants’ lax attitude with respect to keeping their highly sensitive personal information secure,” said Mutnick. “Given defendants’ lack of concern for data security and their new-found notoriety, it is extremely likely that defendants will experience additional and more severe data breaches, further injuring those whose data they wrongfully acquired in the first place,” he added.
April 13, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis