The group is determined to deal a blow. Privacy International and several European organizations for the protection of privacy and digital rights have just announced the filing of complaints against the facial recognition startup Clearview AI. These procedures are initiated with personal data protection organizations in France, Austria, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Based on information from employees and technical and legal analysis of products, the complainants allege that the company’s data collection method violates European data protection laws. According to this, the company is actually using an “automated image recovery device”. The latter scours the Internet and extracts human faces that have been spotted without their consent.
Face recognition is discussed in Europe
In France, it was the National Commission on Informatics and Freedoms (CNIL) that was called on for violating the GDPR, the European regulation on the protection of personal data. The Independent Managing Authority will decide whether it deems it appropriate to initiate an investigation.
As a reminder, Clearview has been very controversial software since its inception. He has already registered more than three billion faces. However, this technology is valued by the police force, and particularly in the United States, where it is used by several services. In particular, it was recently used to investigate the Capitol rioters following the January 6th incidents.
Note that facial recognition is the target of forty civil and digital rights groups that have started a petition to get a million signatures. The goal is clear: to ban massive biometric surveillance in the European Union.
The European authorities have also addressed this issue directly in a current draft regulation. This technology will soon be better monitored and its use would be subject to a special permit.