Twitter tells facial-recognition app maker to stop scraping photos, Clearview AI used by 600+ US law enforcement agencies

Clearview AI app used by 600+ law enforcement agencies, from local police departments to FBI, DHS

Twitter told law enforcement app maker Clearview AI that its scraping of Twitter images for facial recognition databases violated Twitter policies.

The company behind the app is sort of mysterious, but has in recent months licensed its powerful face-recognition AI to hundreds of law enforcement agencies.

Our Cory Doctorow wrote about Clearview AI recently here.

In addition to the rebuke by Twitter, U.S. lawmakers are expressing privacy concerns, the New York Times reported Wednesday:

Twitter sent a letter this week to the small start-up company, Clearview AI, demanding that it stop taking photos and any other data from the social media website "for any reason" and delete any data that it previously collected, a Twitter spokeswoman said. The cease-and-desist letter, sent on Tuesday, accused Clearview of violating Twitter's policies.

The New York Times reported last week that Clearview had amassed a database of more than three billion photos from social media sites — including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Venmo — and elsewhere on the internet. The vast database powers an app that can match people to their online photos and link back to the sites the images came from.

The app is used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies, ranging from local police departments to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security. Law enforcement officials told The Times that the app had helped them identify suspects in many criminal cases.

Clearview AI marketing materials for law enforcement agencies

Read more:
Twitter Tells Facial Recognition Trailblazer to Stop Using Site's Photos []


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It []

Previously at Boing Boing:
Facial recognition isn't just bad because it invades privacy: it's because privacy invasions fuel discrimination

Records on Clearview AI reveal new info on police use []