Vermont’s Attorney General, TJ Donovan, has taken legal action against Clearview AI, asserting that the company has contravened the state’s Data Broker Law and the Vermont Consumer Protection Act.
It’s only the latest instance of flak taken by Clearview, which has come under intense scrutiny since a New York Times report revealed that the facial recognition company trawls the internet, including social media sites, to compile biometric databases, and that it sells facial recognition services to police agencies. The company has become further embroiled in controversy with the recent news that its client list had been stolen, and that the full client lists includes thousands of entities including those outside of law enforcement, such as retail stores and schools.
In announcing his lawsuit against Clearview AI, Donovan called its practices “unscrupulous, unethical, and contrary to public policy.”
Clearview has also faced legal action in Illinois, where a resident filed suit against the company concerning alleged violations of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Another lawsuit was filed in New York in February, and New Jersey’s Attorney General has ordered police in the state to refrain from using the biometric service.
As The Verge reports: for its part, Clearview AI maintains that its data collection practices are far less intrusive than those of search engines like Google, which collect information including health and financial data.
March 11, 2020 – by Alex Perala