The Privacy Commission asks Clearview AI to delete all facial recognition data collected in Australia
Despite the opposition of almost all imaginable regulatory agencies, Clearview AI continues to collect and obtain public personal images from all over the world. Regulatory agencies in some countries have been arguing about how the authorities use this special biometric technology. At the same time, Clearview AI seems to have been good at avoiding this problem.Australian regulators require facial recognition company Clearview AI to stop collecting biometric data from Australian citizens and destroy all previously collected information and images.
According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), Clearview AI’s data collection practices violated the Australian Privacy Act passed in 1988.
According to Australian law, no entity can collect “sensitive information” from people without consent. Since Clearview AI collects images and data without taking “reasonable steps” to notify relevant personnel, the privacy authorities believe that it is using unfair means to collect people’s personally identifiable information (PII).
“The secret collection of such sensitive information is unreasonably intrusive and unfair,” said Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk. “Individuals in the database may also be at risk of being misidentified. These practices are far from meeting Australians’ expectations of protecting their personal information.”
OAIC launched an investigation into Clearview in July 2020, when it discovered that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had tried out the facial recognition software between October 2019 and March 2020. A separate investigation into AFP is ongoing.
Clearview AI argues that because the information it collects comes from public sources, it cannot be considered private data. The company also stated that since it is a company headquartered in the United States, it does not fall under Australian jurisdiction. As for providing technology to the country’s police force, the company said that after OAIC began its investigation, it stopped testing in Australia.
Since its establishment, Clearview AI has been involved in many privacy disputes. The scope of the allegations includes illegal and unethical data collection, as well as laxity in maintaining the security of this information. However, despite many attempts to close the company, the company continues to operate.