Google and YouTube recently sent Clearview AI a cease-and-desist letter to stopped their activities that were considered a violation of the tech giants’ policies.
Just last month, startup company ClearView received lots of attention for having more than 3 billion pictures in its database that can be used to identify and gain information on a random passerby. ClearView CEO Hoan Ton-That also said that the technology will not be available to the general public to prevent misusage but Wired Editor-in-Chief Nick Thompson thinks otherwise. “If we know anything from the history of technology and the history of Silicon Valley, it’s that the initial intended use is not the only use,” said Thompson.
In a statement by Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson, he revealed that Clearview has admitted to the violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service that explicitly forbids collection of data to identify a person. Twitter also chimed in by demanding the startup company to stop scraping data from its platform and to delete data collected previously.
Ton-That also compared his company to Google by saying that Google collects information from various websites and since the information is public and could be discovered via Google search engine, then ClearView can have access to these data as well. However, Joseph disagreed on the comparison in his statement to CBS News.
“Most websites want to be included in Google Search, and we give webmasters control over what information from their site is included in our search results, including the option to opt-out entirely. Clearview secretly collected image data of individuals without their consent, and in violation of rules explicitly forbidding them from doing so,” said Joseph.
Law enforcement agencies have also been ordered to stop using the technology until there’s more information.