Civil rights groups file privacy complaints against facial recognition company Clearview AI

Civil rights groups Privacy International, Hermes Centre for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, Homo Digitalis, and noyb – The European Centre for Digital Rights have filed complaints with five European data protection authorities against facial recognition company Clearview AI. Clearview AI maintains a database of over three billion images of faces and corresponding biometric identifiers collected from public websites, which is made available to law enforcement authorities (LEAs). The complaints – filed in Austria, France, Greece, Italy, and the UK – argue that the company has no lawful basis for collecting and processing data, and it does not obtain data subject’s consent. Moreover, Clearview AI is allegedly breaching several other principles of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, such as transparency and purpose limitation. The groups also argue that the use of Clearview’s tool by LEAs does not fulfil the conditions for law enforcement processing required by the Law Enforcement Directive (2016/680), as it would not be based on law, nor necessary and proportionate.