Clearview AI was used not only by police and services. The largest private companies also used the controversial face recognition application.
The Clearview AI client list has been stolen by hackers. Not only the Department of Justice or Interpol, but also the NBA or Walmart used it, despite assurances of the CEO of the startup that Clearview is a tool created primarily for legal representatives. Clearview is face recognition fueled by our carelessness
Clearview is a startup offering a face recognition service that American police authorities eagerly use. The product searches social media, YouTube and “millions of other sites” for photos and videos of our faces. When it finds them, it saves them with a link to the place where it made his discovery. In this way, a large face base is created, which Hoan Ton-That, the company’s CEO, thanks to the facial recognition algorithm added to it, enthusiastically monetises. The application allows you to upload your own photos, for example, a photograph of a suspect to find traces of his face on the Internet. This, according to the police, helps a lot in identifying the perpetrators and solving cases that would otherwise go on forever.
One of the problems with Clearview, however, is that the company, realizing the mission of creating the largest face database, completely ignores the rules of the sites it uses. These prohibit the use of their users’ data in such a way. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter demand that the company delete data obtained from their platforms and threaten lawsuits. Clearview AI CEO with disarming honesty shrugs and claims he doesn’t see anything wrong in his actions. As he argues – everyone does so.
Apple has already blocked Clearview AI at home. The company did not want to play according to the rules imposed by Tim Cook and instead of distributing its application through the App Store, it did so using certificates for companies that are intended only for internal use within the enterprise.
Not just the police, not just the services
Clearview on the website boasts that its applications are used primarily by justice authorities, private companies use it “for security purposes”. If you think this term is at least vague, then you are not alone. The document leak, however, dispelled this mist somewhat, although the company itself claims that the papers disclosed by BuzzFeed are full of inaccuracies.
However, they show that about 2,200 companies and institutions used Clearview. One of the most active users of the application was the FBI and US Secret Service, the list of companies also included casinos from Las Vegas, Bank of America, T-Mobile and NBA. Some companies admit that they used the application, but only during the free trial period, then decided not to invest in the services offered. This does not quite agree with claims about directing your offer mainly to services.
There are no regulations governing the use of facial recognition technology, despite the fact that activists and heads of large technology companies are constantly urging their establishment. To make matters worse, not only the use of technology itself but also the startup that monetizes it raises doubts. There were suspicions that his employees were monitoring police inquiries, which would allow them to track investigations.