An Advent IM view on Clearview

News and information from the Advent IM team.

Advent IM Security Consultant, Ian Warren…

Facial Recognition continues to be a contentious subject, toxic to some and quite right.  The questionable practices of Clearview AI brings into sharp focus the concerns that more and more people are expressing,

Their scraping or data harvesting of personal images has challenged what is acceptable legally and morally and at the same time puts into context the ease with which people readily upload their personal life into the public domain.  This is where Clearview AI are exploiting that part of Data Protection legislation which, in some way, gives them the tenuous excuse for their activities.  Chances are you’re already on that database if you are using the mainstream social media sites, so what can you do?

They offer an opt out for persons who challenge and request their rights, but only on production of additional imagery and official document details; more harvesting/verification by stealth?

So what?  Criminals are being identified and brought before court, right?  Yes, there has been some success with this approach but the question of Data Subject Rights remains as this is a purpose to which they have not given their consent.  The practices have been challenged to the point that Twitter, one of the sources, have issued a cease and desist letter as their actions violate Twitter’s policies.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has called upon the Government to introduce a statutory and binding Code of Practice for this technology.  The outcome of that work will be interesting reading.  They have previously set out an official Opinion (31/10/2019) as part of their consideration for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) desire to deploy the technology.  The ICO concern has always been the carte blanche desire to use this technology as the norm rather than for a justified, specific application and this is the opinion they gave in this instance.  This work is ongoing as they closely monitor the activities of MPS.

At the same time, we as individuals need to consider our social media and other online activity with a view to what we’re ‘giving away’ without realising the possible consequences.  It could be argued that Clearview’s application is for the greater good, but what of the less scrupulous operators?

Remember, you have choices to make when going on line and how much information you share; you have control, the decision is yours, but beware who can see you data.

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