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25 May 2021

Privacy International

Privacy International and others file legal complaints across Europe against facial recognition co. Clearview AI

Privacy International (PI), together with Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, Homo Digitalis and noyb - the European Center for Digital Rights, has today filed a series of legal complaints against Clearview AI, Inc. The facial recognition company claims to have “the largest known database of 3+ billion facial images”. The complaints were submitted to data protection regulators in France, Austria, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom.

As our complaints detail, Clearview AI uses an “automated image scraper”, a tool that searches the web and collects any images that it detects as containing human faces. All these faces are then run through Clearview's proprietary facial recognition software, to build a gigantic biometrics database. Clearview then sells access to this database to private companies and law enforcement globally.

Regulators now have 3 months to respond to the complaints. We expect them to join forces in ruling that Clearview’s practices have no place in Europe, which would have meaningful ramifications for the company’s operations globally.