Watchdogs Order Clearview AI to Stop Using Facial Recognition Tool Without Consent

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
December 14, 2021 Updated: December 14, 2021

OTTAWA—Three provincial privacy watchdogs have ordered facial recognition company Clearview AI to stop collecting, using and disclosing images of people without consent.

The privacy authorities of British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec are also requiring the U.S. firm to delete images and biometric data collected without permission from individuals.

The orders made public today follow a joint investigation by the three provincial privacy authorities with the office of federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien.

The watchdogs found Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology resulted in mass surveillance of Canadians and violated federal and provincial laws governing personal information.

They said the New York-based company’s scraping of billions of images of people from across the internet was a clear breach of Canadians’ privacy rights.

Clearview AI’s technology allows for the collection of images from various sources that can help police forces, financial institutions and other clients identify people.

By Jim Bronskill