November 8, 2021
into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc in July 2020. Clearview’s facial recognition app allows users to upload a photo of an individual’s face and match it to photos of that person’s face collected from the internet. It then links to where the photos appeared. The system is reported to include 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 investigation focused on the company’s use of this “scraped” data and its use of biometrics for facial recognition.
The ICO and OAIC worked together on the evidence-gathering stage of the investigation, but as both data protection authorities operate under their own country’s legislation, the outcomes were considered separately. Each authority has also been looking separately at their respective police forces’ use of the technology.
The joint investigation has finished and the ICO is now considering its next steps and any formal regulatory action that may be appropriate under the UK data protection laws.
The OAIC has released its determination into Clearview AI which is published on the OAIC website.
The joint investigation was conducted in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act and the UK Data Protection Act 2018. It was also conducted under the Global Privacy Assembly’s Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation Arrangement and the MOU between the ICO and the OAIC. To read the ICO’s press release in full, click here.