Clearview AI fined €20 million by the CNIL

Facial recognition: fine of 20 million euros against Clearview AI

The CNIL has sentenced Clearview AI to a fine of 20 million euros, considering that the company had not responded to the formal notice it had sent to it within the prescribed period of two months.

The CNIL also ordered the American company Clearview AI to stop collecting and using the biometric data of people in France, for which it claims there is no legal basis, and to delete the data already collected.

The fine of 20 million euros imposed by the CNIL is the maximum authorized by article 83 of the GDPR. Additional fines of €100,000 per day will be imposed if Clearview fails to follow CNIL guidelines regarding facial recognition data of French people, the statement said.

“Clearview AI collects photographs from many websites, including social networks. It thus collects all the online photographs that can be consulted without logging into an account. Images are also extracted from videos accessible regardless of the distribution platforms.

In this way, the company has appropriated more than 20 billion images around the world. »

Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That said that the company is not subject to the GDPR, that it has no customers or presence in France and that it cannot determine who, in its database, is resident in France, stressing that “(i)there is no way to determine if a person has French nationality solely from a public photo on the internet. »

The CNIL’s initial order was announced last December, although the Commission says Clearview was notified of its decision in November. She alleges illegal processing of personal data by Clearview, breaches of the obligation to facilitate access and erasure as provided for in the GDPR, and to cooperate with the CNIL. Therefore, she claims that the company violated Articles 6, 12, 15, 17 and 31 of the GDPR.

The method used by Clearview AI to build its dataset for training facial recognition algorithms was recently granted a patent by the USPTO.

The US Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent for ” Scalable Training Data Preparation Pipeline And Efficient Distributed Trainer For Deep Neural Networks In Facial Recognition »which the company says allows it to create highly accurate, bias-free facial recognition from public information.

“This distinction further cements Clearview AI’s intellectual property protection and its lead in the artificial intelligence and facial recognition market,” declared Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview. “Clearview AI’s mission is to reduce bias in technology, and as a mixed-race person, that’s very important to me. »

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Clearview AI fined €20 million by the CNIL

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