July 06
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Britain fined U.S. facial recognition company Clearview AI Inc. for more than 7.5 million pounds ($9.4 million) for collecting online images of people without their knowledge, AFP reported.

The U.K. data watchdog also ordered the company to stop receiving personal data of U.K. residents available online and to remove U.K. residents' data from its systems.

Clearview AI Inc has a database of more than 20 billion images of people's faces taken from the Internet and social media platforms without telling people how the information was collected.

The company's customers, including the police, can upload an image of a person to the app, which checks the database for matches.

“Clearview AI Inc has collected multiple images of people all over the world, including in the UK, from a variety of websites and social media platforms, creating a database with more than 20bn images,” he said.

“The company not only enables identification of those people but effectively monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable. That is why we have acted to protect people in the UK by both fining the company and issuing an enforcement notice.”

The ICO found that Clearview AI Inc violated UK data protection laws by failing to use people's information in the UK in a "fair and transparent" manner and by failing to prevent indefinite data storage.

Earlier this month, Clearview AI agreed to limit access to its controversial facial recognition database in the United States, settling a lawsuit filed by privacy advocates.

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