The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced plans to impose a potential fine of more than £17 million on Clearview AI, stating the facial recognition software specialist appears to have violated data protection laws.
Suspected legal violations cited by the agency include collecting data without a lawful reason for doing so and failing to inform people about how their data is being used.
The ICO noted social media users are likely unaware Clearview AI may be capturing facial images.
Clearview AI states on its website its mission is to support police services by matching individual faces with images collected from the internet.
The ICO claimed the US-based software company amassed a database of more than 10 billion images. In a provisional notice, it ordered Clearview AI to delete personal data collected from UK citizens. It noted UK security services had trialled the software, but these had ended and the company no longer offered its services in the country.
Penalties were proposed after a joint investigation with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Big names including Apple and Twitter turned the spotlight on Clearview AI in 2020, with the iPhone maker blocking its developer account and the social media site requesting the company delete all content taken from its platform.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back