Boston (June 8, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today called on Clearview AI to provide greater transparency and firm commitments to not violate Americans' civil liberties. Senator Markey's letter comes in response to reports that law enforcement agencies in cities where protesters are speaking out against systemic racism and the killing of George Floyd have access to Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology.
“As demonstrators across the country exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting racial injustice, it is important that law enforcement does not use technological tools to stifle free speech or endanger members of the public,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That. “I urge you to take every step necessary to ensure that your technology will not force Americans to choose between sacrificing their rights to privacy or remaining silent in the face of injustice.”
In Clearview AI’s previous responses to Senator Markey’s letters, the company failed to commit to subjecting its technology to an independent assessment of accuracy and bias under standards recognized by facial recognition experts. Warning that inaccurate results could lead to the arrest or investigation of innocent protesters -- especially women and people of color -- Senator Markey once again pressed Clearview AI to conduct such an independent assessment. Senator Markey also called for greater oversight by Clearview AI to ensure that law enforcement agencies are not misusing the technology; greater insight into the vetting process Clearview AI uses for prospective law enforcement clients; and improved mechanisms for members of the public to have their images removed from the Clearview AI database.
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to Clearview AI can be found HERE.
In his letter, Senator Markey requests responses to questions that include:
Senator Markey has previously demanded answers from Clearview AI regarding the company’s sales to law enforcement and foreign governments, as well as its potential role in COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.