Victory! More Lawsuits Proceed Against Clearview’s Face Surveillance

By Adam Schwartz

Face surveillance is a growing menace to racial justice, privacy, free speech, and information security. So EFF supports bans on government use of this dangerous technology, and laws requiring corporations to get opt-in consent from a person before taking their faceprint.

One of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify suspects. For example, police in Miami worked with Clearview to identify participants in a Black-led protest against police violence.

Clearview’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires opt-in consent to collect someone’s faceprint. Clearview now faces many consolidated BIPA lawsuits in federal court. It also faces another suit, brought by the ACLU and ACLU of Illinois, in state court. In both federal and Illinois courts, Clearview argues that the First Amendment bars these BIPA claims. We disagree and filed an amicus brief saying so in each case.

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