A Crackdown of Epic Proportions

Even though human beings have proven their intelligence on many different occasions, we do have our fair share of imperfections. These imperfections, in turn, have made some devastating appearances over the years, even leading to irreparable damage at times. Now, when you are dealing with such a risk, you naturally end up needing some sort of a defence mechanism. We will, on our part, discover that mechanism once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. The move paid off big time by making things more organized than ever before. However, it all got a little complicated when technology arrived on the scene. You see, alongside everything positive, the creation’s layered nature also did a massive disservice to the regulatory industry, as it offered the rule breakers a unique avenue to hide their misdoings. This pushed us back a little bit, but fortunately enough, we are now finally witnessing a response from the governing forces, and Clearview AI’s latest decision does a lot to show that their new approach is hitting the right notes.

Clearview AI has officially banned most private companies from using its facial recognition technology. The decision settles a 2020 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit, which accused the company of monetizing unlawfully-collected facial recognition data. According to certain reports, the company can still work with federal agencies and local police departments across. However, as the lawsuit came on the back of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), Clearview cannot deal with the state for at least next five years. Furthermore, the company is required to delete all the pictures of Illinois residents from its database. In case that wasn’t enough, Clearview will also introduce an opt-out program for the people, who want to block any searches using their face or prevent any collection of their photographs.

“By requiring Clearview to comply with Illinois’ pathbreaking biometric privacy law not just in the state, but across the country, this settlement demonstrates that strong privacy laws can provide real protections against abuse,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project deputy director. “Clearview can no longer treat people’s unique biometric identifiers as an unrestricted source of profit. Other companies would be wise to take note, and other states should follow Illinois’ lead in enacting strong biometric privacy laws.”

Interestingly, Clearview AI is not the first company to bear the brunt of BIPA. It was only a short while ago that we saw Meta paying up around $650 million for settling a similar lawsuit.

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