Clearview AI could offer its facial recognition technology to private companies

As its technology is primarily used by law enforcement, the company plans to offer it to banks and other private companies, according to its co-founder and CEO, Hoan Ton-That.

Clearview AI, a facial recognition company, is best known for collecting billions of images from the internet. A practice for which it is the subject of criticism, in particular for not having obtained the consent of the persons concerned. While its technology is mainly sold to law enforcement, the American startup plans to offer it to banks and other private companies, according to Hoan Ton-That. The co-founder and CEO recently unveiled the company’s plans to The Associated Press.

The company would thus seek to launch a new commercial project in order to compete with firms, such as Microsoft, in the verification of the identity of people with facial recognition. It would be a new product “based on consent” which would use Clearview AI algorithms to verify a person’s face, without involving images collected from the internet. These identity verifications may be used to validate banking transactions or for other commercial purposes. This corresponds to “least controversial use case” technology according to Hoan Ton-That.

Statements to clarify the indications of a report

The Clearview AI CEO made the statements in relation to a recent federal court filing suggesting the startup was for sale. A record of a March 17 hearing in a Chicago court did indeed indicate that the company “considered selling the application platform to other entities”citing one of the attorneys who defended him in a case involving an alleged violation of an Illinois digital privacy law.

Hoan Ton-That said the court filing incorrectly reported what the company was trying to tell the judge about potentially expanding its business beyond law enforcement uses. “We let the court know that we were exploring this idea”did he declare.

At this time, Clearview AI continues to rack up new contracts with police departments and other government agencies. In February, it received funding from the Air Force to develop augmented reality glasses with facial recognition. Since last month, it has also offered its technology to Ukraine to help the country in the conflict opposing it to Russia. The company’s software allows it, in particular, to identify the dead: “They were able to identify corpses, even with facial damage”said Hoan Ton-That.

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