Twitter reportedly requested AI company Clearview stop collecting user data and delete all content derived from its platform, as the blogging site claimed its policies had been violated by the company using members’ photos for surveillance, BBC News reported.

The social media platform sent a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview on Tuesday (21 February), as a response to rising concerns about the company’s practice of compiling photographs from public accounts on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

Under a Twitter developer agreement and policy implemented in May 2018, content “may not be used by, or knowingly displayed, distributed, or otherwise made available to any public sector entity (or any entities providing services to such entities) whose primary function or mission includes conducting surveillance or gathering intelligence”.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported Clearview had collected more than 3 billion photos from social platforms, which the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and more than 600 global law-enforcement agencies used to identify suspects.

On its website, Clearview states its practice is legal and it gathered only public information by searching the open web.

“Clearview does not and cannot search any private or protected info, including in your private social media accounts”, it explained.

In a related article, BBC News said the European Commission was reportedly considering banning the use of facial recognition in public areas for five years.