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Senators want to block government agencies from buying Clearview AI data

Added 04-21-21 03:09:03pm EST - “A bipartisan bill would also ban purchases of location data without a warrant.” - Engadget.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Engadget.com: “Senators want to block government agencies from buying Clearview AI data | Engadget”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A bill that aims to essentially ban law enforcement and intelligence agencies from buying data from Clearview AI has drawn bipartisan support from 20 senators. If the Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act were to pass as is, agencies wouldn't be able to buy location data from third-party brokers without a warrant.

The bill would prevent agencies from purchasing data on people in the US and Americans outside of the country if the information was procured from "a user’s account or device, or via deception, hacking, violations of a contract, privacy policy, or terms of service," according to Senator Ron Wyden's office. If the bill becomes law, Clearview AI would no longer be able to sell much of the data it has obtained to US government agencies.

To power its facial recognition technology, Clearview AI reportedly scraped billions of images from social media platforms without consent. The likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Venmo sent the company cease-and-desist letters. The company is using the First Amendment as a defense against those demands as well as lawsuits.

"Clearview AI only collects publicly available photos from the open internet that are accessible from any computer anywhere in the world," Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That told Engadget in a statement. "We look forward to engaging with policymakers on the best ways to protect consumer data and continue to be a resource for law enforcement agencies to battle crimes against children, human trafficking, financial fraud, and domestic terrorism. While we haven’t seen this particular bill yet, we plan to carefully review it and provide feedback if given the opportunity."

The Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act also seeks to shut loopholes that allow intelligence agencies to obtain metadata on Americans' calls, emails and texts to loved ones outside of the country without a FISA Court review. In addition, the bill expands current privacy laws to cover companies that own cell towers and data cables and looks to tackle surveillance on a few other fronts.


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