European human rights activists have filed complaints against Clearview AI

A group of European privacy and digital rights organizations have filed legal complaints against Clearview AI. They turned to regulators in France, Austria, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom, writes Bloomberg.

Human rights activists say the company’s method of documenting and collecting information, including facial images, which it automatically extracts from publicly available websites, violates European privacy laws.

Clearview’s data collection goes beyond what the average user expects from using services like Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, they said.

“Extracting our unique facial features or even sharing them with the police and other companies is much more than we could have expected as online users,” said Privacy International Legal Officer Ioannis Kouvakas.

Clearview AI said that the company has never entered into contracts with customers from the EU and currently its services are not available in Europe.

However, in February 2021, the Swedish authorities fined the national police 250 thousand euros for the use of facial recognition technologies. The regulator said that law enforcement officials illegally processed biometric data for facial recognition using Clearview AI and failed to assess the impact on data protection.

Recall that at the end of April 2021, the United States proposed to ban Clearview AI at the legislative level.

In March, the activists filed a lawsuit in a California court to terminate the company’s operations in the state.

In February, the Canadian authorities asked Clearview AI not to collect photos of their citizens.

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