Clearview AI, a face recognition business that has gathered 10 billion photographs globally, has been ordered by France’s data protection authority CNIL to stop collecting and processing data from residents of the nation.
The CNIL stated in a written demand released on Thursday that Clearview’s gathering of publicly available face photographs on social media and the Internet had no legal basis and was in violation of European Union data protection standards.
The software business, which is utilized as a face search engine to aid law enforcement and intelligence organizations in their investigations, failed to get the prior agreement of persons whose photographs it acquired online, according to the regulator. “These biometric data are extremely sensitive,” the authority stated in a statement, “particularly because they are related to our bodily identity (who we are) and allow us to be identified in a unique way.
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It went on to say that the New York-based corporation failed to provide people affected with sufficient access to their data, limiting access to twice a year without explanation and limited this privilege to data accumulated in the 12 months prior to any request.
Clearview did not respond to a request for comment right away. Citizens can request that their personal data be removed from a privately held database under EU legislation. Clearview had two months to comply with the CNIL’s demands or risk sanctions, according to the CNIL.
The decision was made in response to many complaints, including one filed by the advocacy group Privacy International. It comes after a similar directive by Clearview’s Australian counterpart, who directed the company to cease collecting photos from websites and erase data gathered in the nation.
Last month, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which collaborated with the Australians on the Clearview investigation, announced it planned to punish Clearview 17 million pounds ($22.59 million) for suspected data protection legislation violations.