Facebook Joins YouTube & LinkedIn, Warns Clearview AI To Stop Scraping Images From Their Platforms

Not very long ago, Clearview AI - a facial recognition software, became a part of severe criticism for matching people’s faces with billions of images scraped off social media platforms and sharing them with security agencies.

While this did put the privacy of all internet users at huge risk, Facebook has come together along with YouTube, LinkedIn and payment service Venmo to stop the company from harvesting images of users present on their platform in order to identify people for their work with law enforcement agencies.

Facebook has been very blunt in their demand and stated that accessing, scraping or using information available of its flagship site and Instagram’s users violates the company’s privacy policy and the New York based start-up should stop invading.

Moreover, Facebook is not the first one to put up such a demand from the startup. In fact, prior to this incident, Venmo has already sent a cease-and-dentist letter to Clearview AI.

According to Venmo spokesman Justin Higgs, by scraping Venmo, Clearview AI is their terms of service and as the company works actively to limit or block any kind of activity that violates their important policies, Clearview might soon have to face the consequences.

Further, Google’s own video service giant YouTube sent another similar letter and revealing the details of it, YouTube spokesman Alex Joseph said in a statement that YouTube’s Terms of Service doesn’t allow collecting data to be used for identifying a person. As Clearview has publicly admitted to conduct violence of a similar sort, therefore the company had to send a cease and desist letter.

In response to all the letters and criticism, Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That said their company relies on the First Amendment right for collecting 3 Billion open images, which the company uses to date. He even told CBS that Clearview AI’s software is developed in such a way that they only take information that is publicly available and then index it for further usage.

Hoan has also been asking the critics to trust him because this kind of technology is only being used by law enforcement agencies to identify criminals.

With the legal battle expected to rise, Clearview attorney Tor Ekeland gave another surprising statement that the company operates pretty much like Google’s search engine.

Well, whatever the case is, there is one thing for sure that the future of Clearview AI itself is also at risk.

Facebook Joins YouTube & LinkedIn, Warns Clearview AI To Stop Scraping Images From Their Platforms
Photo: Getty Images

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