Clearview faces DPA scrutiny and fines for using its facial recognition software

Alexandra Guérin-François, CNAM University and Joanna Masson, Odoné study the approach taken by France’s DPA and how it compares with other regulators in Italy, the UK and Greece.

The American company, Clearview AI, is under scrutiny by France’s Data Protection Authority (CNIL) for its facial recognition software which screens publicly available photographs and videos on the Internet. The order to comply issued on 1 November 2021 by the CNIL(1) is worth looking at in the light of other decisions issued by its UK, Italian and Greek counterparts who fined Clearview between £7.5 million to €20 million in the first half of 2022.

What is at stake

Clearview AI, established in the United States, provides a worldwide facial recognition platform. Its database is composed of faces extracted from millions of websites such as social networks (including from individuals not connected to the network), company websites, blogs, images extracted from videos online, published on websites such as, and all images accessible to a search engine at the time of collection.

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