Canadian Regulator Calls Clearview AI's Data Scraping Illegal

By Ben Kochman (February 3, 2021, 7:18 PM EST) -- Facial recognition company Clearview AI's scraping of billions of people's images from the internet to create an identification database marketed to police departments and companies is a clear breach of Canadian law, the country's privacy watchdog said Wednesday.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, along with privacy authorities in British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, found after a year-long investigation that Clearview violated Canadian law by sweeping up citizens' "highly sensitive biometric information" without their knowledge or consent.

The New York-based startup — which says its database consists only of "publicly available" images found online — allows clients to identify people by matching...

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