Clearview AI's Facial Recognition Tech Is Being Used By The Justice Department, ICE, And The FBI - 2020-02-27
The United States' main immigration enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, retailers including Best Buy and Macy's, and a sovereign wealth fund in the United Arab Emirates are among the thousands of government entities and private businesses around the world listed as clients of the controversial facial recognition startup with a database of billions of photos scraped from social media and the web.
The startup, Clearview AI, is facing legal threats from Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as calls for regulation and scrutiny in the US. But new documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal that it has already shared or sold its technology to thousands of organizations around the world.
In its quest to create a global biometric identification system to span both public and private sectors, Clearview has signed paid contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and Macy's, according to the document obtained by BuzzFeed News. The company has credentialed users at the FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Interpol, and hundreds of local police departments. In doing so, Clearview has taken a flood-the-zone approach to seeking out new clients, providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations — sometimes with little or no oversight or awareness from their own management.