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Canada Privacy Watchdog Probes Facial Recognition Startup

Last Friday, Canada’s privacy watchdog agency announced that it was conducting an investigation into US-based company Clearview for its use of AI and machine learning to match images of unknown faces to photos mined from millions of websites and social media networks. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner stated that the company’s stockpiling of more than three billion photos may violate Canadian privacy law if the photos were obtained without permission from the individual.

The facial recognition software Clearview developed uses images grabbed from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube to aid law enforcement agencies in identifying wanted individuals, which has raised concerns about police surveillance over the past several months. Clearview AI’s founder stated that the technology has been made available to more than 600 law enforcement agencies in North America, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, as well as several banks who are utilizing the tech for fraud investigations. Twitter and Facebook have reportedly asked the company to cease its collection of photos from their platforms.

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Previous Coverage: Class-action lawsuit filed against controversial Clearview AI startup

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