Clearview AI has stopped selling its AI technology to private companies, says Buzzfeed News. The controversial company made the decision because of several pending lawsuits.
According to Buzzfeed News, Clearview will immediately close all accounts of users and companies that do not work for government agencies. The company trained an algorithm with billions of photos from platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, to identify people in real-time. Critics unanimously agreed that Clearview had violated the privacy of millions of users.
The platforms from which Clearview extracted these photo’s criticised the company. In February, both Google and Twitter demanded that the company stop collecting data from their platforms as a means of publicly identifying people.
In February, Clearview got into even more trouble after someone broke into their customer database. It became clear that the technology was being used for commercial purposes, while the company had always maintained that this was not the case. As a result, the state of Illinois filed a lawsuit against Clearview for violation of state privacy laws. Clearview has now stated that it will not sell its technology to anyone in that particular state, including government agencies.
Clearview had 105 customers in Illinois, including the Chicago Police Department and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Several senators expressed concerns about public privacy.