On February 21, 2020, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), and its counterparts in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta (collectively, Privacy Regulators) announced that they will jointly investigate Clearview AI and its use of facial recognition technology. The Privacy Regulators’ investigation was initiated in the wake of media reports claiming that Clearview AI is using its technology to collect images and make facial recognition available to law enforcement for the purposes of identifying individuals.
Clearview AI is an American technology company that provides facial recognition software to law enforcement. The company has developed a technology that can identify individuals from to a database of more than three billion images “scraped” from various websites such as Facebook and YouTube. This technology is reported to be able to produce a person's name, their phone number, address and occupation, based on nothing more than a photo.
The Privacy Regulators will examine whether the organization’s practices are in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation. The investigation was initiated as a result of media reports that “raised questions and concerns about whether the company is collecting and using personal information without consent.” However, no further details were provided by the Privacy Regulators, citing the active nature of the investigation.
For more information regarding the investigation, please see the OPC’s announcement here.
Summary By: Jae Morris
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