Facebook, LinkedIn tell Clearview AI to stop scraping images
San Francisco: Facebook and Microsoft-owned LinkedIn have joined Twitter and Google-owned YouTube to demand that law enforcement facial-recognition app maker Clearview AI must stop collecting images from their platforms.
The controversial app uses over three billion images to find a match. These images have been sourced from various social media sites including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
"Scraping people's information violates our policies which is why we've demanded that Clearview stop accessing or using information from Facebook or Instagram," a company spokesperson was quoted as saying in a CBS News report on Thursday.
LinkedIn said it was sending a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview AI.
"We are sending a cease and desist letter to Clearview AI. The scraping of member information is not allowed under our terms of service and we take action to protect our members," a LinkedIn spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
Payments service Venmo has also objected to Clearview AI's way of functioning.
According to Clearview AI's CEO Hoan Ton-That, the company has a right to use the data, since it's available in the public domain.
"The way we have built our system is to only take publicly available information and index it that way," he was quoted as saying.
Last month, Twitter told Clearview AI to stop downloading images from its platform to build its facial recognition databases as it violates its policies.
The cease-and-desist letter from Twitter accused Clearview AI of violating Twitter's policies.
Clearview AI app is being used by over 600 law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security.
The New York-based Clearview AI is not available to the public and a visit to its website yields no result for the common people.