Clearview AI revelations spark action on use of facial recognition

Sam Jungyun Choi, Hannah Lepow, Christopher Lin, and Ian Macdonald of Covington & Burling LLP discuss legislative and regulatory developments following publication of  news that searchable faceprints were being generated from billions of online images.

Since the New York Times article on Clearview AI (Clearview) in January 2020,(1) the company has come under scrutiny from legislators, regulators, and the public for its use of facial recognition technology (FRT). As a refresher—because January feels like years ago—the New York Times article described how Clearview sells access to a database of faceprints, developed from scraping billions of images from websites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter and then using FRT to map the faces in those images to create searchable faceprints. Users can then upload photos to find matches; a service popular with law enforcement.

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