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Rights groups urge Clearview plaintiffs to opt out of settlement

Claim facial recognition harms not addressed with proposed compensation
Rights groups urge Clearview plaintiffs to opt out of settlement

Activist groups in California are urging members of a class action against Clearview AI to reject the settlement recently agreed to on grounds that it sidesteps the central issue and allows the company to continue unjust biometric data collection and use practices.

Under the settlement, plaintiffs (and their attorneys) would collectively receive a 23 percent stake in Clearview, which could be redeemed for alternative compensation under multiple scenarios. The “Renderos v. Clearview AI, Inc.” case in California is one of 12 class actions in different districts that will be consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation if the settlement is approved.

Immigrant rights and criminal justice reform advocacy group Just Futures Law and immigrant advocacy group NorCal Resist argue that the ownership stake plaintiffs can claim is inadequate because it does not protect their rights or data privacy from Clearview’s image collection and facial recognition business.

Members of a class action who opt out can then pursue subsequent legal actions.

“I sued Clearview because their business model of selling our faces puts in peril my right to speak out,” says plaintiff Lisa Knox. “Offering us a few dollars will not solve the problem of Clearview’s invasive business practices.”

“By offering only monetary compensation, this settlement legitimizes Clearview’s extractive and invasive business model. It does not address the root of the problem. Clearview gets to continue its practice of harvesting and selling people’s faces without their consent, and using them to train its AI tech,” says Just Futures Law Legal Director Sejal Zota, a lead attorney in the case. “As one of the only remaining lawsuits in the country challenging Clearview’s practices, the case is more imperative than ever.”

Biometric Update has asked Clearview for comment.

Meanwhile, the back-and-forth between Clearview and Consumer Watchdog, touched off by the advocacy group’s letter to California’s Attorney General, continues. Consumer Watchdog says the company’s claims about remediation efforts like an opt-out from its biometric database cannot be verified. The group suggests that Clearview could keep minors out of its database by manual review, and argues that law enforcement investigations should not rely on proprietary facial recognition algorithms.

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