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German activist accuses Clearview AI of ‘stealing faces’ for facial recognition

German activist says Clearview AI turned his face into a “search term” sans consent

What’s the news: Matthias Marx, a German activist, has accused Clearview AI, an American facial recognition company, of turning his face into a “search term” sans consent, reported the Wired. As per the report, Marx’s complaint to the company was pending for two years until it was recently allegedly closed. In 2020, Marx, who also works as a security researcher at the Security Research Labs IT security company, read about how Clearview scraped billions of photos online to create its own database. This enables its clients to upload any person’s photo to find more photos with the same face. Claiming that the company was violating GDPR laws, Marx filed a complaint with his local privacy regulator in Hamburg in February 2020. His was the first complaint against Clearview from Europe that opposed the use of his face as data points for the company. The regulator’s spokesperson told Wired that the case had been closed, but Marx said he was not been notified of the outcome. Why it matters: The European Union’s GDPR laws are touted across the world as an example of data and privacy protection laws. However, Marx’s experience shows how difficult it is even for EU countries to enforce this law. The situation complicates further as the company under scrutiny is a US-based organisation. For a country like India that works on a federal system of central and state governments, it is important to understand these discrepancies in policy-making and enforcement. Clearview avoids EU laws: According to the…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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