FB pixel

ACLU takes Clearview AI to Illinois court for alleged biometric privacy violations


biometric facial recognition

“We won’t let companies like Clearview trample on our right to privacy,” writes ACLU Staff Attorney Nathan Freed Wessler. The ACLU has decided to sue controversial biometric company Clearview AI, in an attempt to stop its privacy-breaching surveillance actions.

Clearview’s technology that collects billions of unique biometric templates has been criticized by a number of privacy advocates, as has its use by law enforcement units around the world. ACLU is not the first organization to take Clearview AI to court over data privacy concerns. There are also two separate BIPA (Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act) cases currently ongoing against Clearview.

“The company has captured these faceprints in secret, without our knowledge, much less our consent, using everything from casual selfies to photos of birthday parties, college graduations, weddings, and so much more,” Wessler says. “Unbeknownst to the public, this company has offered up this massive faceprint database to private companies, police, federal agencies, and wealthy individuals, allowing them to secretly track and target whomever they wished using face recognition technology.”

ACLU is taking Clearview AI to an Illinois court in the name of vulnerable communities such as survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and undocumented immigrants. Calling the system “life-threatening,” the group accuses the biometric company of breaching BIPA, which requires a company obtain users’ written consent to collect biometric information.

Wessler believes Clearview’s surveillance technology will “destroy our rights to anonymity and privacy” if measures against it are not immediately implemented. As a result, lawyers at the ACLU of Illinois and Edelson PC law firm have joined forces to stop the company. Their demand is for an Illinois court to order Clearview AI to delete the data gathered from Illinois residents without their consent and stop all activity that doesn’t comply with Illinois law.

Edelson is one of the firms behind the BIPA suit Facebook reached a $550 million settlement agreement in earlier this year, among other major BIPA suits. CEO and Founder Jay Edelson noted earlier this year that he expected to file suit against Clearview. The New York Times said in 2015 that Edelson may by the most hated person in Silicon Valley, even before the wave of BIPA lawsuits his firm has been prominent in.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


EU watchdog rules airport biometrics must be passenger-controlled to comply with GDPR

The use of facial recognition to streamline air passenger’s travel journeys only complies with Europe’s data protection regulations in certain…


NZ’s biometric code of practice could worsen privacy: Business group

New Zealand is working on creating a biometrics Code of Practice as the country introduces more facial recognition applications. A…


Demonstrating value, integrated payments among key digital ID building blocks

Estonia has achieved an enviable level of user-centricity with its national digital identity system through careful legislation and fostering collaboration…


Strata Identity launches uninterrupted identity services product

There are a few things that can be more annoying than your office computer logging you out of applications because…


Digital identities shaking up identity verification industry: Regula

The arrival of digital identities is shaking up how companies operate and verify identities. Regula has published a survey with…


Digital ID for air travel is DPI that could lift Africa’s economy, HID argues

As the African continent experiences economic growth and increasing global integration, the potential for enhancing air travel through improved digital…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events