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posted by janrinok on Wednesday May 11, @04:46AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the about-face dept.

Facial recognition startup Clearview AI has agreed to restrict the use of its massive collection of face images to settle allegations that it collected people's photos without their consent:

The company in a legal filing Monday agreed to permanently stop selling access to its face database to private businesses or individuals around the U.S., putting a limit on what it can do with its ever-growing trove of billions of images pulled from social media and elsewhere on the internet.

The settlement — which must be approved by a county judge in Chicago — will end a 2-year-old lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups over alleged violations of an Illinois digital privacy law. The company still faces a separate privacy case before a federal judge in Illinois.

Clearview is also agreeing to stop making its database available to Illinois state government and local police departments for five years. The New York-based company will continue offering its services to federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to other law enforcement agencies and government contractors outside of Illinois.

[...] The settlement document says Clearview continues to deny and dispute the claims brought by the ACLU and other plaintiffs. But even before Monday's settlement, the case has been curtailing some of the company's controversial business practices.

Also at The Guardian, CNN, TechCrunch, ACLU.

Previously
Why Facial Recognition Technology Has an Uncertain Future with Small Business


Original Submission

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Why Facial Recognition Technology Has an Uncertain Future with Small Business 19 comments

Clearview AI's co-founder Hoan Ton-That recently defended his startup's use of controversial facial recognition software:

If you're skeptical about whether your company will ever use facial recognition technology as a business tool, you're not alone. Perhaps the most prominent facial recognition technology provider in the world, Clearview AI, has attracted significant criticism and raised ethical concerns even as it has been used by law enforcement.

In a live interview with the Washington Post last week, New York-based Clearview AI's co-founder and CEO Hoan Ton-That addressed questions about the ethical and legal implications of his software, which became first known to many Americans when a billionaire used it to identify his daughter's dinner date, and for the involvement of far-right individuals in the creation of the company. Pressed on questions about the legal and ethical choices his firm has made while creating a searchable database of 20 billion facial images, Ton-That repeatedly brought up examples where the use cases of Clearview AI's technology would look better in the public eye, mentioning its use in helping catch criminals in child pornography and child abuse cases. Ton-That also pointed to the use of Clearview AI's technology by the Ukrainian government to identify dead Russian soldiers, for notifying their families of their passing.

While Clearview AI has some 20 billion facial images to feed its current product, the dataset is being used only by governments so far. "There's no non-governmental use of this dataset at this time," Ton-That said, adding that "we've developed as prototypes different versions of our technology for retail and banking."

Ton-That went on to say he welcomes regulation and his company will not do business with governments he described as "authoritarian."

Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.

Previously:
Ukraine Reportedly Adopts Clearview AI to Track Russian Invaders
Italy Slaps Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI With €20 Million Fine
Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Tells Investors: It's Seeking Massive Expansion
France Has Ordered Clearview AI to Delete its Facial Recognition Data
US Government Agencies Plan to Increase Their Use of Facial Recognition Technology
And many more


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  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @05:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @05:51AM (#1244001)

    Meanwhile, in better news:

    May 10 | Written By Scott Miller, Apogee (Founder)
            https://www.apogeeent.com/devblog/dnf-truth [apogeeent.com] [apogeeent.com]

            Looks like someone leaked a build of Duke Nukem Forever from 2001. Anyone expecting much of a playable game will be disappointed. The game's brilliant trailer from that period definitely over-represented what was actually playable in the game.

            (BTW, I have no idea who leaked the build or how they obtained it.)

            DNF is the game that destroyed 3D Realms and ended up getting the company sold to an investor in Denmark (where it's still based). While our games like Max Payne and Prey were keeping the company afloat, DNF was a constant money pit for the company and eventually killed the original 3D Realms/Apogee.

            IMO, while I was not part of the DNF project, as a company owner I had some good insight into the issues with the game's development.

                            We were always understaffed by at least 50%.

                            We did not have a good development roadmap (at least, I never once saw one), and instead the project was adlibbed too much.

                            Because of the game's slow development, when new 3D technology became available, the project--in effect--rebooted to make use of the newest tech causing massive delays over and over.

            I recognized that DNF was in deep trouble back in 2004 and tried to get the entire game developed by a more experienced studio, Digital Extremes (now famous for Warframe). The owner there was eager to take over DNF from us, and we even had the blessing of our publisher at the time (Take-Two), but this idea was shot down internally. It turned out to be a fatal suicide shot.

            In the end we worked out a deal to somehow barely save the project with Gearbox Software, and basically handed over the future of the Duke brand to them with the idea that they'd finish the game. A year or so later, it was released.

            It's a very sad story no matter how you look at it. It brought 3D Realms to its knees, all of our development team left or was released, and the 3D Realms name is now owned by someone with no connection to our past.

            I do hope that Gearbox can resurrect Duke Nukem at some point. It seems like the obvious move would be to recreate Duke Nukem 3D using Unreal 5. And if it does well, then start making more Duke adventures while also expanding the universe with new characters.

            Scott Miller, Apogee (Founder)

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @07:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @07:58AM (#1244009)

    So, are we just ignoring the alt-right origins of this nefarious corporation, again? Would be nice to share some background, and how they are joined jowl and titties to the alt-right. Funny Peter is not in there. Or Paul. Arkansas Paul.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by inertnet on Wednesday May 11, @08:07AM

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 11, @08:07AM (#1244011)

    If I wanted to forbid them using images of me, I'd have to send them my picture. How crazy is that?

    I know that there are a lot of people that would do anything to become famous, but you have to realize that there are also people who are doing the opposite: who're doing their best _not_ to get famous. For me personally there's a chance of this happening sometime in the coming year, as soon as a project I've been working on for 9 years is finished and publicized (nothing to do with tech). It bothers me to know that random people would be able to recognize me, or could even locate me if they wanted to. In due time I'll explain to y'all why this even matters more for this particular project. There will be public exposure, but that will be handled by someone who doesn't mind that.

    But even without those circumstances I think this kind of tech will not benefit humanity. Before the internet this was unthinkable and nothing to worry about, but now we have examples of nations using facial recognition for behavioral adjustment. To me it's a limitation of a freedom that humanity has always had before.

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday May 12, @04:56PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday May 12, @04:56PM (#1244462)

    Facial recognition startup Clearview AI has agreed to say they restrict the use of its massive collection of face images

    These kinds of agreements, without rigorous enforcement, are just lip service.

    Clearview is also agreeing to stop making its database available to Illinois state government and local police departments for five years. The New York-based company will continue offering its services to federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to other law enforcement agencies and government contractors outside of Illinois.

    Notice what they didn't agree to: Under these rules, there's nothing at all stopping the Illinois state or local police departments from asking nicely for either the feds or a neighboring state to use Clearview and tell them the results of that search.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
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