Google, YouTube, Facebook send cease-and-desist letters to Clearview AI. Google, YouTube, and Facebook have sent cease-and-desist letters to Clearview AI, a facial recognition company surrounded by controversy over its app that can identify people by comparing their photo to a database of more than 3 billion pictures obtained by scraping off social media and other Internet resources. In their cease-and-desist letters, the three Internet companies expressed concern over Clearview’s practices and demanded that it stop scraping photos from their platforms, as such activities violate their privacy policies. Human rights defenders are concerned that Clearview’s app – which is already used by law enforcement authorities in the USA and seems to be of interest for other countries too – is a threat to individuals’ civil liberties. But the company claims that it has a constitutional right to access and use public data, including photos of individuals, based on this reference to US first amendment rights (freedom of speech).