Industry News

Facial Recognition Start-Up That Sells Data to Police Got Its Client List Stolen

Someone stole the client list of a somewhat obscure company called Clearview AI. While that might not seem like much, the company was recently in the news for all the wrong reasons – it claims that it scrapes the Internet for public images to use for facial recognition, to then sell that data to law enforcement.

Clearview AI would not be the first company to try to sell data to police, but the suspicious part is that nobody knows who actually gets access to their data. And the company has yet to make any statement regarding their client list, with the exception of a small “trust us” blog post.

According to a Daily Beast report, Clearview AI notified its clients that an intruder accessed a list of customers. It said the servers and infrastructure remain untouched, but that doesn’t seem to have been the goal of the presumptive attacker.

The company avoided the word “hacker” and only referred to someone gaining “unauthorized access.” The vulnerability was fixed and whoever got the client list had no access to the law-enforcement agencies’ search histories.

“Security is Clearview’s top priority,” company attorney Tor Ekeland told The Daily Beast. “Unfortunately, data breaches are part of life in the 21st century. Our servers were never accessed. We patched the flaw, and continue to work to strengthen our security.”

For now, there is no indication that the client list was released to the public and it’s not clear how extensive the intrusion really was.

About the author


Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between. He's passionate about security and the way it shapes the world, in all aspects of life. He's also a space geek, enjoying all the exciting new things the Universe has to offer.