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Clearview AI’s facial recognition back in Ohio law enforcement after one year

Clearview AI’s facial recognition back in Ohio law enforcement after one year

Clearview AI has returned to providing facial recognition search for law enforcement in Ohio after a year-long pause amid pushback from civil liberties organizations and lawmakers.

The New York-based company is providing the service to Ohio’s attorney general’s office, specifically the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which signed a year-long $8,994 contract last August that enables designated officials to conduct facial recognition searches using the company’s database, Cleveland.com reports.

Ohio BCI disclosed that 21 BCI officials have used Clearview AI software in 17 BCI and organized crime investigations so far. However, officials have had “mixed results” as the facial recognition search cannot confirm the identity of a suspect itself, but merely provides leads to investigators, says the Bureau.

BCI will continue to use the software during the one-year contract with policies in place to prevent misuse and abuse. Unlike the previous facial-recognition program, Clearview AI is assisting only BCI investigations, not those of federal or local law enforcement. The bureau plans to launch an improved facial-recognition system which is part of the Ohio Biometric Identification System, or OBIS but no deadline has been yet announced.

Last year, the company settled a lawsuit in Illinois by agreeing to stop providing its database to law enforcement and government agencies in that state for five years. This has not stopped the company from providing the technology to hundreds of police forces across the country such as those in Miami, according to its CEO Hoan Ton-That.

Ton-That and Clearview Co-founder Richard Schwartz are also battling a lawsuit for breach of contract filed by Charles Johnson, who claims he is a co-founder of the company.

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