Plaintiff in biometric privacy class action asks judge to order Clearview AI to delete data
If Clearview AI loses access to facial images from social media after using them to train its biometric algorithm, is it still worth law enforcement’s trouble to use it? We may soon find out, as an Illinois resident who has taken the company to court for violating BIPA with its social media-scraping has requested a pre-trial order from a federal judge ordering Clearview to destroy the data of state residents it has stored, MediaPost reports.
“It has been revealed that defendants’ conduct is much more egregious — and their dangerous technology far more widespread — than was known when plaintiff commenced this action,” plaintiff’s lawyers said in documents filed this week in the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiff David Mutnick is seeking a preliminary injunction forcing Clearview to stop collecting biometric data of Illinois residents and destroy that which it already holds. His lawsuit was filed in January.
The suit is just one of five federal class-actions being taken against the company, some or all of which could in theory be consolidated at some point, according to the report, including one recently filed in California, and a second BIPA suit.
In addition to law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and abroad, Clearview’s facial recognition has been used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), governments with atrocious human rights records like that of Saudi Arabia, and retailers, as well as an organization MediaPost describes as a “conservative think tank.” The revelations since the suit was filed necessitate the preliminary injunction, according to the complaint.
“Plaintiff and class members should not have to accept defendants’ lax attitude with respect to keeping their highly sensitive personal information secure,” Mutnick argues. “Given defendants’ lack of concern for data security and their new-found notoriety, it is extremely likely that defendants will experience additional and more severe data breaches, further injuring those whose data they wrongfully acquired in the first place.”