Boston (November 20, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sent a letter today to Clearview AI demanding answers from the company on its facial recognition technology. In his letter, Senator Markey expressed serious concerns about Clearview AI’s mass collection of biometric information without individual consent, arguing that Clearview AI’s practices pose serious threats to privacy rights and civil liberties, particularly for people of color. A recent report indicated that a Louisiana Sheriff’s Office relied on incorrect Clearview AI results in the wrongful arrest of a Black Georgia resident who never visited to Louisiana.
In the letter to Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That, Senator Markey wrote: “Facial recognition technologies — and Clearview AI’s system, in particular — pose a serious threat to privacy rights and civil liberties. Particularly in the context of law enforcement use of your product, the American people should not have to forgo personal privacy for public safety. If Clearview AI is serious about participating in Congress’ work to regulate artificial intelligence, I urge your company to consider the privacy risks of facial recognition technology and be transparent about your company’s development and use of its facial recognition system.”
The Senator requests that Clearview AI respond to the following questions by December 11, 2023:
Senator Markey has called on the federal government to hold facial recognition technology companies accountable. In March, Senators Markey and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), along with Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), led their colleagues in reintroducing the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act to prevent the government from using facial recognition and other biometric technologies. In February 2022, he and his colleagues sent a letter to federal agencies calling on them to end their use of Clearview AI facial recognition technology. In June 2020, Senator Markey pressed Clearview AI on reports that the company’s facial recognition technology was used to track and monitor peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors. In April 2020, he questioned Clearview AI about its possible role in marketing facial recognition software to government entities for tracking COVID-19 patients. In March 2020, Senator Markey raisedconcerns about the company’s foreign sales to authoritarian governments and processing of children’s data. In January 2020, Senator Markeysounded the alarm about the company selling its facial recognition product to more than 600 law enforcement agencies.