Facebook and Clearview AI Face-Off Over Face-Offs

Scraping over three million photos from social media platforms, Clearview AI is now facing multiple cease-and-desists from social media giants.

Clearview AI CEO, Hoan Ton-That. Photo Credit: CNN

Developed by Hoan Tot-That, Clearview AI works as a facial recognition program, storing away photos posted by users of social media. Facebook is now one of the many platforms taking legal action against the software.

Facial recognition has always been a sticky situation. With our data being stored away at such a rapid rate, it can almost feel like our faces are the only ‘pieces of information’ sacred to us. Just last month, Facebook agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology at the cost of $550 million. Clearly, users aren’t open to the idea of their faces being in the hands of tech giants.

In 2019, major tech companies, Google, Microsoft and Amazon were all sitting on facial recognition technologies. This information was met with 90 advocacy groups writing to these companies, requesting that such technology is not sold to Governments.

But with the introduction of Clearview AI, Zuckerberg is now taking the side of users, forcing developers of the software to eliminate the images that it has obtained from Facebook.

Photo Credit: ABC

Receiving cease-and-desists from not only Facebook, but Twitter, Youtube and Venmo, Clearview AI will end up erasing a good portion of the images it has collected. However, it’s unclear whether the software is able to retain the data it has learned from collecting the images.

While the average person is probably freaked out by the capabilities of Clearview AI, authorities have taken an interest in the facial recognition software and is currently being used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies.

In response to the backlash, Company CEO Ton-That argues that the software is simply exercising it’s right to ‘public information’. Continuing by saying that they are protected by the First Amendment, it seems as though the onus is being placed on users. Once it’s out there, is it no longer yours?

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