Briefing

Clearview AI’s entire customer list stolen

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The facial recognition company told its customers—which include the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and hundreds of others—that an intruder had “gained unauthorized access” to its list of customers, the number of searches they’d made and how many accounts each customer had set up. The firm, which has a database of three billion photos collected from the internet, said its servers weren’t breached and that the vulnerabilities have since been fixed. “Security is Clearview’s top priority,” Tor Ekeland, Clearview AI’s attorney, said. (Daily Beast)

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Talking point: But the news comes as a handful of Canadian police services have confirmed they used, and have since stopped using, Clearview’s technology. Privacy commissioners for Canada and three provinces are now investigating its usage. Police forces worldwide are grappling with the pros and cons of using facial recognition. The chief of London’s Metropolitan Police has defended its use, saying data concerns “feels much, much smaller than my and the public’s vital expectation to be kept safe from a knife through the chest.” Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly said the technology “is going to change the world.” His force piloted facial recognition software from a different firm for three months last year. “You can’t put that genie back in the bottle. It will be utilized by everybody,” Sloly said.