Democrats urge Feds to stop using Clearview AI facial recognition

A group of Democrats in both the Senate and House are urging some federal agencies to stop using face recognition Clearview AI software.

Clearview AI is controversial startups created a database of billions of photos of people without their knowledge by collecting public images from the internet and social media sites. ONE report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year noted that the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Home Affairs all use the company’s technology.

In Letters to those agencies on Wednesday, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) urged them to stop using the technology because it poses a “serious threat to civil liberties and public privacy,” adding that Clearview AI is “exceptional.” hazardous”.

The use of facial recognition technology, especially by police and government, has much criticized. Technology has been discovered to have racial prejudice. All four legislators introduced a bill, The Act to Ban Facial Recognition and Biometric Technologythat would place a federal government ban on technology use that could only be lifted by an act of Congress.

“Clearview AI technology can eliminate public anonymity in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the agencies.

The four lawmakers noted that cropping the images without permission could be “fundamentally destructive” to Americans’ expectations in public without being identified. This could lead to people not joining rallies or marches for fear of being identified, lawmakers said.

The letters also note the technology’s racial bias, with lawmakers citing a National Institute of Standards and Technology study that found Blacks, Browns and Asians “are at risk” 100 times more likely to be misrecognized than white male faces.” They also note how technology leads to excessive policy and privacy violations in communities of color.

“The use of increasingly powerful technologies like Clearview AI has the potential to violate Americans’ privacy and exacerbate existing injustices. Therefore, as the authors of the Biometric and Facial Recognition Technology Ban Act — which would prevent a federal agency or official from using these technologies — we call on you stop using facial recognition tools, including Clearview AI products,” the letter reads.

The four lawmakers’ request comes just days after the Internal Revenue Service said it will “switch” from its plan used facial recognition software from the company after it faced massive opposition from lawmakers and advocacy groups.

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*First published: February 9, 2022, 4:45 p.m. CST

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is the Daily Dot’s deputy technology editor. Andrew has written for USA Today,, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Association of Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Democrats urge Feds to stop using Clearview AI facial recognition

Jake Nichol

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