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Clearview Facial-Recognition Technology Ruled Illegal in Canada

This week, Canadian authorities ruled that the use of facial recognition technology from Clearview is prohibited due to violations of federal and provincial privacy laws. Clearview has received backlash from the security industry for its controversial practice of harvesting faceprints from the internet and selling them. The company could feel the aftermath of this ruling for a while, as it sets an important precedent for other legal challenges the company will likely face. The ruling also represents a win for individual privacy.

This conclusion was made yesterday following a joint investigation led by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The investigation found that the practice of scraping billions of images of people off the Internet represented mass surveillance, therefore infringing on Canadians’ privacy rights. Clearview AI also collects sensitive biometric information without consent, and then uses the personal information for inappropriate purposes. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Daniel Therrien, stated that it was unacceptable for millions of people who never engaged in criminal activity to find themselves in police lineups.

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