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Vermont sues facial recognition firm

The state of Vermont is suing a data agent who says it uses facial recognition technology to map Vermonters' faces, including children, and then sells access to the data to private companies, individuals and law enforcement officers.

Clearview AI, based in New York

It has drawn attention after investigative reports about its practice of collecting billions of photos from social media and other services to identify people.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other companies demanded in February that Clearview stop harvesting images from its users.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan filed a lawsuit against Clearview on Tuesday, alleging that the company violated the Vermont Consumer Protection Act and the new data broker law.

"This practice bothers me, particularly the practice of collecting and selling facial recognition data from children," Donovan said in a written statement.

"This practice is unscrupulous, unethical and contrary to public policy."

The state also asked the court to order Clearview to stop collecting or storing Vermonters photos and facial recognition data.

Tor Ekeland

A Clearview AI attorney said in an email that the tool helps police catch rapists, murderers, and child thieves while protecting the innocent from being falsely accused.

"Clearview operates in strict accordance with the US Constitution. USA And American law », he wrote, adding that the firm appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with the state outside the courtroom to further refine our proven technology to solve crimes for the benefit of all.

"However, we are ready to defend our constitutional right and that of the public to access freely available public information."