Law Enforcement Agencies In The US Are Already Leveraging Clearview's Facial Recognition AI Without Permission

What if you get to know that there are almost two thousand government bodies, including the police departments that we trust for our security and public schools where we grow up, have constantly been using Clearview AI in recent times, and that too without permission?

Well, it is not a supposition anymore because Buzzfeed News has recently presented facts on the similar matter and according to them, there are 1,803 employees belonging to public bodies who have been using the controversial facial-recognition platform without any permission.

When reporters of Buzzfeed reached out to the agency heads a number of them responded that they had no idea about the employees accessing the system illegally.

By surprise, Buzzfeed also received the entire data of agencies that had access to the platform via an anonymous source. They also published a version of the database online to make you all see how many times a department used Clearview AI.

On the other hand, when Clearview AI was asked to comment on the report, their representative refused to comment on the questions and also authenticate the data.

Founded by Hoan Ton-That, Clearview AI has always preferred to call itself a searchable facial recognition database especially created for law enforcement agencies. However, it is Ton-That’s own close associations that have always raised doubts on the software, and how the company has also been backed by Facebook investor Peter Thiel. The company offers users the ability to download every image posted on social media without the need to take permission for the database. It is something that social media companies in the past have tried to stop and unfortunately, Clearview AI is also under investigation around UK and Australia for the way it collects data.

The report also highlights how Clearview has even offered free trials to employees at various public bodies - all with the hope that one day they would use the system for their daily tasks and eventually agencies would be convinced to sign up.

But before that happens, there are civil liberties, privacy, legal, and accuracy questions to fully understand how Clearview operates.

All in all, agencies like ICE have already signed up for using the system and at the same time, there are agencies like LAPD that have banned the usage of the platform for its employees.

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