BuzzFeed News reporters have seen leaked Clearview AI documents that show the company is "working with more than 2,200 law enforcement agencies, companies, and individuals around the world," including Best Buy, Walmart, Macy's, ICE, DOJ, and the FBI, plus "a sovereign wealth fund in the United Arab Emirates."
Clearview AI is the facial recognition startup run by a right-wing internet personality that is reported to have a database of billions of photos scraped from social media and the internet.
Just a few hours ago, Clearview reported that its entire client list has been stolen.
From reporting by Ryan Mac, Caroline Haskins, and Logan McDonald at Buzzfeed News:
The startup, Clearview AI, is facing legal threats from Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as calls for regulation and scrutiny in the US. But new documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal that it has already shared or sold its technology to thousands of organizations around the world.
In its quest to create a global biometric identification system to span both public and private sectors, Clearview has signed paid contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and Macy's, according to the document obtained by BuzzFeed News. The company has credentialed users at the FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Interpol, and hundreds of local police departments. In doing so, Clearview has taken a flood-the-zone approach to seeking out new clients, providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations — sometimes with little or no oversight or awareness from their own management.
Clearview's software, which claims to match photos of persons of interest to online images culled from millions of sites, has been used by people in more than 2,200 law enforcement departments, government agencies, and companies across 27 countries, according to the documents. This data provides the most complete picture to date of who has used the controversial technology and reveals what some observers have previously feared: Clearview AI's facial recognition has been deployed at every level of American society and is making its way around the world.
Previously at Boing Boing:
• Clearview client list "stolen"
• Twitter tells facial-recognition app maker to stop scraping photos, Clearview AI used by 600+ US law enforcement agencies
• Canada investigating facial recognition company Clearview AI over privacy, security concerns