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Clearview has a regulatory friend in Austria but a cold shoulder for France

Clearview has a regulatory friend in Austria but a cold shoulder for France

On the same day this week came separate reports regarding European governments finding fault with Clearview AI operations.

The regulators’ issues with the notorious face-scraping facial recognition subscription service were largely the same, but the outcomes on May 10 were not.

Responding to a citizen’s complaint, the Austrian data protection authority found that Clearview was breaking European Union law by scanning, collecting and profiting from faces using an algorithm online.

The law is the General Data Protection Regulation, which has provisions prohibiting face-scraping.

According to privacy advocacy group noyb, the government instructed Clearview to cease processing the complainant’s data and delete that person’s data. No fine was imposed for breaking the GDPR, nor was a ban on Clearview operating in the nation. Clearview has no operations in any of the EU member states where GDPR applies.

Farther south, in France, that nation’s chief privacy regulator, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, or CNIL, has grown tired of Clearview reportedly ignoring fines.

The company was sanctioned in October for illegally harvesting French citizens’ face biometrics for its database, which reportedly has reached 10 billion images.

CNIL ordered Clearview to pay a €20 million fine and stop collecting and processing biometric data. The regulator says it has not seen “any proof of compliance.” New fines of €100,000 per day were imposed in December.

The fines total €5.2 million at the moment.

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