The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has fined more than 7.5 million pounds ($9.5 million) on Clearview AI, a leading facial recognition surveillance firm, for using images of people in the UK and elsewhere.
Clearview AI collected images of people from the web and social media to create an online database that could be used for facial recognition.
A blog from Avast, a leading cyber security company, said face-recognition technology poses a lot of complicated issues for society and the consumers it affects.
The ICO has issued an enforcement notice, ordering Clearview AI to stop obtaining and using the personal data of UK residents and delete data from its systems.
Clearview AI has collected more than 20 billion images of people’s faces and data from publicly available information on the internet and social media platforms all over the world to create an online database.
People were not informed that their images were being collected or used in this way, the ICO said in a statement.
“The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable. That is why we have acted to protect people in the UK by both fining the company and issuing an enforcement notice,” said John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner.
People expect that their personal information will be respected, regardless of where in the world their data is being used.
Earlier this month, Clearview AI agreed to permanently ban businesses and other private entities from using its service.
Under a legal settlement, Clearview AI agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in the US, a groundbreaking privacy law.