Facial recognition company Clearview AI faces possible £17m fine in UK

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it will issue a temporary fine of £17 million for Clearview AI for its use and treatment of this citizen’s personal information, reports english chain BBC.

According to Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, the company’s database likely includes a large number of people from the UK, whose information was collected without their consent, so she asked the company to stop processing and delete it.

Initial analysis of the ICO found that the company violated UK data protection laws, by “failing to fairly process UK citizen information”; “Failed to have a process to avoid indefinite data storage”; “Failed to have a legal reason to collect information” and “failed to notify people in the UK that this was happening to their data.”

“UK data protection laws do not prevent the effective use of technology to fight crime. But to enjoy the public’s trust and safety in their products, technology providers must ensure that legal protections for individuals are upheld and respected,” said Denham.

The office explained that the decision was provisional and that each company representative would be carefully considered before issuing a final decision by the middle of next year.

Clearview AI has been in the media spotlight since it was discovered that various US security agencies (such as the Air Force, prosecutors and police) and private companies (Walmart and the National Basketball Association) had hired it.

Additionally, in March 2021, an organization defending the rights of migrants in California, USA, filed a lawsuit against the company to prevent this software from continuing to be used in this state by federal and state agencies.

Photo of Ars Electronica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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