Clearview AI Hit with £7.5 Fine in the UK for Scraping Facial Images


Personal data privacy is one of the major debates of our time, and a recent citation in the UK underscores the need for citizens and others to be wary of who is using their data and for what purpose.

blue and black ball on blue and white checkered textile
A blue and black ball on blue and white checkered textile in neon light. Photo by Michael Dziedzic.

Clearview AI was hit with a massive fine in the UK after being accused of illegally scraping facial images and maintaining a database of information on those images, Endgadget reports. On top of the fine, the company will have to delete the data it has collected so far.

In this case, it was an artificial intelligence company that not only scraped images but also uses this data to somehow “[enable] identification of those people” and “effectively monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service,” according to UK information commissioner John Edwards.

A joint investigation on the part of UK and Australian authorities was launched back in 2020. Engadget notes that, while Clearview AI “no longer offers its services to UK organizations” but does work with other countries to develop the same technology being fined. Interestingly, Clearview AI’s problems are myriad and with multiple parties.

Typically, in cases like these, there is some kind of issue between a government agency and a private business but here we have everyone from YouTube and Facebook to Twitter, the ACLU, the state of Illinois in the US, and privacy groups, among others, that have taken issue with this kind technology. We’ve covered more than a few stories in the past on this topic and you can check them out at this link and here.

If you know any other prominent stories about image scraping by AI developers, let us know in the comments.

Check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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