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Canadian Officials Say An American AI Company Has Illegally Collected 'Millions Of Images'

Without the consent of Canadians.
Staff Writer
Canadian Officials Say An American AI Company Has Illegally Collected 'Millions Of Images'

In a report published Wednesday, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and other provincial authorities allege that Clearview AI collected images of Canadians without their consent and "used and disclosed Canadians" personal information for inappropriate purposes."

The commissioners "concluded that the New-York-based technology company violated federal and provincial privacy laws," the report reads.

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It is completely unacceptable for millions of people who will never be implicated in any crime to find themselves continually in a police lineup.

Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada

The technology company is specifically alleged to have "allowed law enforcement and commercial organizations to match photographs of unknown people against the company's databank of more than 3 billion images, including of Canadians and children, for investigation purposes."

Clearview AI disagreed with the findings of the investigation, arguing in part that "Canadian privacy laws do not apply to its activities because the company does not have a 'real and substantial connection' to Canada," according to the report.

Commissioners say the company also claimed "consent was not required because the information was publicly available."

MTL Blog reached out to Clearview AI for further comment. This article will be updated when we receive a response.

The report claims that Clearview AI "actively marketed its services to law enforcement agencies in Canada" and "48 accounts were created for law enforcement and other organizations across the country."

"The stance taken by Clearview that it is in compliance with the laws that apply to it, underscores the need for greater oversight of the use of this technology," said Diane Poitras, president of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec.

This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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