Privacy commission demands Clearview AI delete all facial recognition data collected in...

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,273   +894
Staff member
A hot potato: Despite getting under the skin of just about every regulator imaginable, Clearview AI continues to collect and scape publicly available images of individuals worldwide. Regulators in several countries have been debating how authorities can use this particular biometric technology. In the meantime, it seems Clearview has become adept at dodging the issue.

Australian regulators have demanded that facial-recognition firm Clearview AI cease scraping the biometric data of Australian citizens and destroy all information and images previously gathered on them. According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), Clearview's data collection practices violate Australia's Privacy Act of 1988.

Under Australian law, no entity can collect people's "sensitive information" without consent. Since Clearview AI gathers images and data without taking "reasonable steps" to notify those involved, the privacy authorities believe it is using unfair means to collect people's personally identifiable information (PII).

"The covert collection of this kind of sensitive information is unreasonably intrusive and unfair," said Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk. "Individuals featured in the database may also be at risk of misidentification. These practices fall well short of Australians' expectations for the protection of their personal information."

The OAIC initiated the investigation into Clearview in July 2020 when it discovered the Australian Federal Police (AFP) trialed the facial recognition software between October 2019 and March 2020. A separate probe into the AFP is ongoing.

Clearview AI fell back on the defense that it has used against critics from the start. It argues that since the information it scrapes comes from public sources, it cannot be considered private data. It also says that since it is a US-based firm, it lies outside Australia's authority. As for supplying the tech to police forces in the country, the company says it halted trials in Australia as soon as the OAIC opened its investigation.

Clearview AI has embroiled itself in numerous privacy controversies since its founding. Charges have ranged from illegal and unethical collection of data to lax security in keeping that information contained. However, the company somehow continues to operate despite numerous attempts to shut it down.

Permalink to story.

 

zulu53

Posts: 80   +33
Personal data privacy/security might be somewhat of a myth, but this is absolutely not true about bio-metric data such as face's. If there was no privacy/security of facial (or any other bio-metric) a large number of countries around the world would have a problem with the entry documents they now use (with facial recognition and fingerprints - digital identification, there are no analogue ones left); and said countries would be overrun with "immigrants" they did not want and could not support. Current evidence of "undocumented aliens" in the US, for example shows that bio-metric data; including faces and fingerprints have not been compromised YET. If killing Clearview AI and its IP is what it takes to stay on top of immigration, then Australia, and the US, and the UK (or any of the other will have no problem using all means (fair or not) to do so; and making them the example for all that wish to follow in their footsteps. So goes the history of man - mess with my ability to define "friend or foe" and you mess with my "fight or flight" survival decision. Obviously the folks at Clearview AI are not the sharpest knifes in the draw. Its been said to them before as a warning: at some time either they listen or get eliminated; I can't see how they can overcome Darwin's Law.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,823   +4,972
Anything you post online will be collected and abused unless extreme caution is taken. However, mass surveillance without the public's knowledge should absolutely be illegal. The UK makes no secret of its ubiquitous CCTV cameras used by law enforcement, and that's the only acceptable way to do it. That said, the rise of the surveillance state is a sad commentary on modern life.
 

seeprime

Posts: 646   +841
I don't believe the data will ever be destroyed, just moved offline and offsite.

I'm going to start wearing a Richard Nixon mask every time someone wants me in a photo. I wonder how many crimes I'll be blamed for in coming years.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,478   +7,315
I don't believe the data will ever be destroyed, just moved offline and offsite.

I'm going to start wearing a Richard Nixon mask every time someone wants me in a photo. I wonder how many crimes I'll be blamed for in coming years.

Tricky **** gets half, Donald Trump gets the other half ......
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,242   +810
I love how people still think they have privacy online...
You can still criminalise and not make it part of normal business practices to use data you don't have permission to use. Just because I can see a google logo doesn't mean I can use it for my own materials legally.

Biometric data is shown IN PUBLIC but it is not FREE for corporations to use. It's your personal property in that respect. If they want to collect the data legally, they need to obtain consent.

There's nothing unreasonable about that.
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 23   +28
I love how people still think they have privacy online...
But this is not just about privacy online this is data collected (pictures) of you and god knows what else in real world while you are out and about in the public as well and then used for their own means to either make money or handing it out to who ever such as police forces etc etc.

I do not care if I am out in public and if my picture is snapped I do not expect that said picture to be handed out to whoever decides to want to look at it but then again I would have to ask why they would want to in the first place since I am pretty ordinary looking person and nothing special at all lol. Unless they want to come by my house and let me sign a waiver for me to release my likeness to god who knows they actually have no right to do so. Why because if they make any money off of my face or whatever I have a right to some of that profit since they would be making money off of me without my consent and even in this day and age we all still have some of our rights left intact.

I hope this company gets drug down and taken out of business for the scum that they are and that goes for any other company that does this as well and no Facebook does not have any pictures of me nor will they ever have because I can control the flow of data they get off of me because they only see what I decide to show them but in real life if I am walking down the street and one of those cams snaps my photo I have no control of who or where that photo ends up.

If a company like this gets a hold of it then does their scummy business practices to it by selling it or whatever I have no control over that and that pisses me off to no extreme and it should also piss off most everyone else as well.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,273   +894
Staff member
You can still criminalise and not make it part of normal business practices to use data you don't have permission to use. Just because I can see a google logo doesn't mean I can use it for my own materials legally.

Biometric data is shown IN PUBLIC but it is not FREE for corporations to use. It's your personal property in that respect. If they want to collect the data legally, they need to obtain consent.

There's nothing unreasonable about that.
But this is not just about privacy online this is data collected (pictures) of you and god knows what else in real world while you are out and about in the public as well and then used for their own means to either make money or handing it out to who ever such as police forces etc etc.

I do not care if I am out in public and if my picture is snapped I do not expect that said picture to be handed out to whoever decides to want to look at it but then again I would have to ask why they would want to in the first place since I am pretty ordinary looking person and nothing special at all lol. Unless they want to come by my house and let me sign a waiver for me to release my likeness to god who knows they actually have no right to do so. Why because if they make any money off of my face or whatever I have a right to some of that profit since they would be making money off of me without my consent and even in this day and age we all still have some of our rights left intact.

I hope this company gets drug down and taken out of business for the scum that they are and that goes for any other company that does this as well and no Facebook does not have any pictures of me nor will they ever have because I can control the flow of data they get off of me because they only see what I decide to show them but in real life if I am walking down the street and one of those cams snaps my photo I have no control of who or where that photo ends up.

If a company like this gets a hold of it then does their scummy business practices to it by selling it or whatever I have no control over that and that pisses me off to no extreme and it should also piss off most everyone else as well.
This and this.

Ton-That is off his a-- if he thinks that he can just scrape images of people and sell them and I am surprised there has not yet been a flood of civil lawsuits against Clearview. "I found it on the internet" is not a legal argument. The reason you found it on the internet and it is publically available is because someone (Joe Q Public) agreed to allow someone else (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to post their pictures on the internet as part of an EULA. Ton-That has no EULA that explicitly says he can sell or even use my image for any reason let alone his own profit. This is exactly why YouTubers have to be careful when filming out in public. If someone finds themselves in a video they did not agree to be in, they have legal grounds to sue--strong legal grounds, which is why you often see people's faces blurred out in videos that they may have been incidentally caught in.

Ton-That keeps saying he has a First Amendment right to gather this information. He's dead wrong and needs to hire new attorneys if that's what they are telling him. This is not even remotely a First Amendment issue.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Now. How does collecting other people's images or biometric data have anything to do with any of that? He's not practicing religion or free speech, and he's certainly not a member of the press. Most importantly, in a civil suit where congress is not involved in the matter, his 1A argument is sketchy at best. Regulators can investgate and make their demands all they want, but the only way Ton-That will stop what he is doing is when he starts losing civil suits.