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Markey Takes Dim View of Clearview AI Breach

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) was reading Clearview AI the riot act after it revealed its entire client list had been hacked.

AI provides facial recognition services to, among others, law enforcement agencies. Its app allows those agencies and others to upload photos, analyze biometric info and provide existing information and images of those individuals online.

Markey had written Clearview last month concerned that its app and its use by a reported 600-plus law enforcement agencies could "completely eliminate public anonymity in the United States."

In a statement following reports of the breach, Markey said:

“Clearview’s statement that security is its ‘top priority’ would be laughable if the company’s failure to safeguard its information wasn’t so disturbing and threatening to the public’s privacy. If your password gets breached, you can change your password. If your credit card number gets breached, you can cancel your card. But you can’t change biometric information like your facial characteristics if a company like Clearview fails to keep that data secure."

He said that given that Clearview's entire business model is based on collecting "incredibly" presonal and sensitive info, the breach "is yet another sign that the potential benefits of Clearview’s technology do not outweigh the grave privacy risks it poses.”