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[Slashdot] - Clearview AI Violates Californians' Privacy, Lawsuit Alleges

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: Clearview AI has amassed a database of more than 3 billion photos of individuals by scraping sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Venmo. It's bigger than any other known facial-recognition database in the U.S., including the FBI's. The New York company uses algorithms to map the pictures it stockpiles, determining, for example, the distance between an individual's eyes to construct a "faceprint." This technology appeals to law enforcement agencies across the country, which can use it in real time to help determine people's identities. It also has caught the attention of civil liberties advocates and activists, who allege in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the company's automatic scraping of their images and its extraction of their unique biometric information violate privacy and chill protected political speech and activity. The plaintiffs -- four individual civil liberties activists and the groups Mijente and NorCal Resist -- allege Clearview AI "engages in the widespread collection of California residents' images and biometric information without notice or consent." This is especially consequential, the plaintiffs argue, for proponents of immigration or police reform, whose political speech may be critical of law enforcement and who may be members of communities that have been historically over-policed and targeted by surveillance tactics. Clearview AI enhances law enforcement agencies' efforts to monitor these activists, as well as immigrants, people of color and those perceived as "dissidents," such as Black Lives Matter activists, and can potentially discourage their engagement in protected political speech as a result, the plaintiffs say. [...] The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would force the company to stop collecting biometric information in California. They are also seeking the permanent deletion of all images and biometric data or personal information in their databases.

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