Senator Markey Wants To Know What Federal Authorities Are Using Clearview AI To Track The Coronavirus - 2020-04-30
Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that claims to have scraped over 3 billion photos from social media to power its face-matching tool, is now facing questions from Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey about recent claims that it's developing a digital contact tracing tool for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That claimed in a recent NBC interview that the company is in talks with "federal and state" authorities about developing a tool that would use facial recognition to track where a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has traveled and whom they may have come in contact with. Clearview has not identified any of these authorities nor the length of the agreements or contracts it has signed or is seeking. It's also unclear how Clearview's facial recognition tools would aid in contact tracing efforts or how the company would obtain pictures of people diagnosed with the disease and track their movements at scale.
In a letter to Ton-That, Markey asked Clearview to name the government agencies it claims to be communicating with and to disclose any agreements it may have reached with them. He also asked if Clearview is planning to use real-time facial recognition to power its contact tracing tool. BuzzFeed News previously reported that Clearview had developed a sister company called Insight Camera that partnered with at least two organizations to do real-time facial recognition and surveillance.