This time Clearview AI really means it. Honest.
The problematic facial-recognition company that scraped billions of photos off social media is now claiming that it will not sell its technology to private companies. Of course, Clearview AI has made a similar assertion before — one that didn’t exactly turn out so well.
BuzzFeed News got its hands on documents Clearview AI filed Wednesday in response to an Illinois lawsuit. In them, the company reportedly asserts that it will “avoid transacting with non-governmental customers anywhere.” This follows on the news, also reported by BuzzFeed News in February, that Clearview AI had shared its tech with Madison Square Garden, Eventbrite, Vegas Sands, the NBA, Equinox, and Coinbase, among others.
Roughly a week before that February story was published, Clearview AI founder and CEO Hoan Ton-That insisted on Fox News that the tool was “strictly for law enforcement to do investigations.”
The company is singing a different tune this week.
“Clearview is cancelling the accounts of every customer who was not either associated with law enforcement or some other federal, state, or local government department, office, or agency,” BuzzFeed News reports Clearview AI as asserting in the filing.
Of course, this latest claim isn’t legally binding in any way. One has to take the company at its word that it will in fact no longer sell its privacy-invading technology to private companies. Which, considering Clearview AI’s CEO publicly misrepresented its businesses practices in the past, is quite the ask.
We’re not holding our breath.