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10 Nov 2020

Adam Schwartz,
Andrew Crocker, EFF

USA: EFF files amicus brief in case against Clearview's faceprinting arguing the company violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)

"Clearview’s Faceprinting is Not Sheltered from Biometric Privacy Litigation by the First Amendment", 5 November 2020.

Clearview AI extracts faceprints from billions of people, without their consent, and uses these faceprints to offer a service to law enforcement agencies seeking to identify suspects in photos. Following an exposé by the New York Times this past January, Clearview faces more than ten lawsuits, including one brought by the ACLU, alleging the company’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). That watershed law requires opt-in consent before a company collects a person’s biometrics. Clearview moved to dismiss, arguing that the First Amendment bars this BIPA claim.

EFF just filed an amicus brief in this case, arguing that applying BIPA to Clearview’s faceprinting does not offend the First Amendment. Following a short summary, this post walks through our arguments in detail. 

Above all, EFF agrees with the ACLU that Clearview should be held accountable for invading the biometric privacy of the millions of individuals whose faceprints it extracted without consent. EFF has a longstanding commitment to protecting both speech and privacy at the digital frontier, and the case brings these values into tension. But our brief explains that well-settled constitutional principles resolve this tension...