Facial recognition tool Clearview AI has been fined twenty million euros by the Greek regulator DPA. The fine is for violating the AVG privacy law. Regulators in several Member States have issued fines.
The DPA says in his decision that the complaint of human rights organization Homo Digitalis is justified, because Clearview AI has collected private data from Greek citizens without prior consent. This is against the rules of the AVG privacy law, which is also known by the English abbreviation GDPR. According to this law, companies must obtain prior permission to collect and process data.
Clearview says to Techcrunch that it finds the fine unjustified. “Clearview AI has no office in Greece or the EU, nor does it have customers in Greece or the EU. We do not engage in any activity that would otherwise require us to comply with the GDPR.” The company is also appealing against the fine it received from the British regulator. Earlier, Clearview was also fined in Italy. An investigation is also ongoing in Austria.
Clearview AI collects photos that are publicly available on the internet and applies facial recognition to them so that the software can recognize users and match new images to profiles on social media. The company sells its tool to investigative services, among others.