Clearview AI Is Deploying a California Law Meant to Protect Activists From Bogus Lawsuits 

Nicola Morrow is a graduate of NYU Law and a recipient of a 2023–2024 Justice Catalyst Fellowship, and Melodi Dincer is a Supervising Attorney with the Technology Law and Policy Clinic at NYU Law and a Fellow with NYU Law’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. Shutterstock Clearview AI is a lucrative facial recognition company that has spent the past few years boiling in legal hot water. To the company’s chagrin, several European countries have fined Clearview millions for violating their data protection laws by scraping billions of images of peoples’ faces from popular social media websites without their knowledge or consent in order to build its facial recognition app. So far, these moves have failed to stop Clearview from profiting from our data. But as lawsuits against Clearview continue to mount, the company has invoked a dangerous legal argument that, if successful, could provide a playbook for numerous AI companies to evade accountability.  Today, Clearview’s main U.S. customers are law enforcement agencies who use the app to identify people from photos and surveillance footage. The police have a long history of surveilling activists using powerful new technologies, chilling their fundamental rights to assemble and protest. In an ongoing lawsuit in California, immigrant rights activists and organizations are suing Clearview for misappropriating images of their faces, invading their privacy when it built its app and when it licensed the app to local police departments to use during protests.  The complaint alleges that the company’s actions deter protestors from exercising…Clearview AI Is Deploying a California Law Meant to Protect Activists From Bogus Lawsuits