Citingmedia BuzzFeed News, it emerged that controversial facial recognition provider Clearview AI will no longer sell its apps to private companies or non-law enforcement entities, according to newly disclosed legal documents. In addition, the Company will terminate all contracts in Illinois regardless of whether or not the user enforces the law.
The legal document has been filed in a state court as part of a lawsuit filed by Clearview AI that could violate Illinois privacy laws. The document lists Clearview’s decision as voluntary and the company will now “avoid dealing with non-government clients anywhere.”
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed reported on a leaked customer list that showed Clearview technology had been used by thousands of institutions, including Bank of America, Macy’s and Wal-Mart.
Clearview said that in addition to terminating the contract, it would take steps to prevent its technology from collecting data from Illinois residents, prohibit photos that contain metadata that showed photos taken in the state, and prohibit the collection of new data from URLs in its automated system and Illinois IP addresses. The company said it was also building an opt-out tool, but it was unclear whether that would be at the request of individuals in Illinois and what the specific process would involve.
“These commitments do little to address concerns about Clearview’s reckless and dangerous business model,” Nathan FreeD Wessler, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, said in a statement to The Verge. There is no guarantee that these steps will actually protect Illinois residents. And, even if there is, a commitment to a state would not end Clearview’s nationwide misuse of face data.”