Clearview A.I. fined for illegally collecting images of faces

Facial recognition company, Clearview AI, has been fined £7.5 million ($9.4 million) by a U.K. privacy regulator.

The New York based firm has collected images from the web and social media of people in Britain and elsewhere to create a global online database that can be used by law enforcement for facial recognition.

The Information Commission’s Office has accused the company of breaching U.K. data protection laws.

The ICO has ordered Clearview to delete data it has on U.K. residents and banned it from collecting any more.

Clearview has collected more than 20 billion facial images of people around the world from publicly posted images from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as news media, mugshot websites and other open sources without informing the individuals or asking for their consent.

Clearview’s platform allows law enforcement agencies to upload a photo of an individual and try to match it to photos that are stored in Clearview’s database.

Clearview has also been fined by regulators in France, Italy and Australia.