HomeInsightsInformation Commissioner’s Office and the Australian Information Commissioner open joint investigation into Clearview AI Inc


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The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the ICO have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc., focusing on the company’s use of “scraped” data and biometrics of individuals. The ICO says that the investigation “highlights the importance of enforcement cooperation in protecting the personal information of Australian and UK citizens in a globalised data environment”.

The ICO explains that Clearview’s facial recognition app allows users to upload a photo of an individual and match it to photos of that person collected from the internet. It then links to where the photos appeared. It is reported that the system includes a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have taken or “scraped” from various social media platforms and other websites.

The joint investigation will be conducted in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act 1988 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018. It will be conducted under the Global Privacy Assembly’s Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation Arrangement and the MOU between the OAIC and the ICO. To read the ICO’s press release in full, click here.