Clearview AI set to get patent for controversial facial recognition tech

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Clearview AI, the company behind a controversial facial recognition system that scrapes social media sites to add photos of people to its database, is on the Nerdshala of receiving a patent for its technology. The company confirmed on Saturday that the US Trademark and Patent Office had sent it notice of allowance, which means that the application for Clearview is set to be granted after the company has paid the administrative fee.

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the notice was informed of Earlier on Saturday by Politico, which said critics are concerned that granting patents could accelerate the development of similar technologies before lawmakers have time to get hold of them.

Clearview AI’s system, which is used by law enforcement agencies including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, has been criticized for tricking social media sites into its database of billions of images and cropping up photos of people without their consent. The company says the photos it collects are publicly available and thus should be fair game. But the approach has prompted cease-and-desist letters from Facebook, Twitter and others. and officers Australia, Britain And Canada The company has also been called on data privacy laws.


Clearview CEO Hon Ton-That has also stated that the company’s system is meant to identify criminal suspects and not as a surveillance tool, and that Clearview is “committed to the responsible use” of its technology, including facial recognition. Including working with policy makers on identification of protocols. “We do not intend to make a consumer grade version of Clearview AI,” the company told Nerdshala in a statement on Saturday. Critics have said apps or other consumer versions of such technology could potentially allow a passerby to capture your image from a smartphone and then expose personal data about you.

Politico explains that Clearview AI’s patent application This includes language that police suggest using beyond the identification of suspects.

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“In many instances, it may be desirable for a person to learn more about a person they meet, such as through business, dating, or other relationships,” the patent application states. Adding traditional methods like performing or ongoing background checks may fall short. “Therefore, there exists a strong need for a better methodology and system to obtain information about an individual and to selectively provide information based on predetermined criteria.”

Facial recognition systems in general have been criticized for their inaccuracy which sometimes leads to false arrests. In particular, the system runs into trouble when it comes to recognizing people of color and women. For example, through surveys of political demonstrations and protests, privacy advocates also worry about the potential to stifle dissent. Law enforcement officials, on the other hand, say the system has been used to solve crimes ranging from shoplifting to child sex abuse to murder.

Clearview told Politico that it is not aware of any instances where its technology led to wrongful arrests, and the publication notes that Clearview’s technology found to be highly accurate In a recent audit by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. “As a person of mixed race,” such accuracy “is especially important to me,” Ton-That has said.

Legislators are still Wrestling With the best way to control facial recognition. in the United States Fist States and some cities have regulations, but so far there is no federal law governing this technology. This is despite the fact that the systems are widespread and a growing number of US agencies use them. In June, the Government Accountability Office said that 20 US agencies were using facial recognition systems, but many of those organizations lacked the necessary information about them.

The GAO said at the time, “13 federal agencies are not aware of what non-federal systems are used by employees with facial recognition technology.” “Therefore these agencies have not fully assessed the potential risks of using these systems, such as risks related to privacy and accuracy.”

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