UK and Australian Commissions to investigate Clearview’s facial recognition technology

The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have recently conducted a joint probe in order to investigate Clearview’s facial recognition technology.

Both Commissions in Australia and the UK have started to investigate the company’s image-scraping practices in July 2020. It was then found out that it uses AI to identify people in photos from the public internet before offering law enforcement agencies a search engine to ID suspects.

Hence, the company is accused of breaching Australian privacy laws and of collecting personal information unfairly and without consent, as well as failing to inform those whose photos it identified. The Australian Commission thus reported that ICO is currently considering its next steps and any formal regulatory action that may be appropriate under the UK’s data protection laws.

The report ordered the company to stop scraping images depicting Australians and destroy those it has already collected. Clearview has then made its new business inquiry web page inaccessible from Australian IP addresses.


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