The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman has issued a note to the Police Board on the use of the controversial Clearview AI facial recognition software.
The program is based on the illegal processing of people’s personal data, including publicly published social media photographs that have been excavated from the web to assist law enforcement in their investigations.
Last spring, it was revealed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had used Clearview AI, even though its use was not widely known within the organization. Among other applications, the program can be used to enter images of victims of sexual abuse to identify and protect them.
The NBI has said that the agency’s Child Exploitation Investigation Unit used Clearview AI in late 2019 and early 2020. During operation, four NBI individuals made a total of 120 searches on the system during the month.
Deputy Ombudsman: The application does not comply with Finnish law
NBI decided to try Clearview AI after it was recommended at a meeting of the European Law Enforcement Group hosted by Europol in 2019.
In a note to NBI on Tuesday, the Data Protection Commissioner stated that the police had used a facial recognition program without first verifying that the application complied with data security or data protection laws.
The Police Board has taken the remark of the Office of the Data Protection Officer seriously, according to the Information Officer. Annina Hautala.
"We also make sure that [office's] the note is implemented. We will develop our skills and procedures so that this does not happen again in the future," Hautala told Yle over the phone.
The Office of the Assistant Data Protection Commissioner called on police to notify individuals of the images used in Clearview if their identities were known. Police were also instructed to ask Clearview to delete the information the company uploaded to its servers.
Clearview under review
Last March, the US publication Buzzfeed contacted NBI to inquire whether the Finnish authorities had used the controversial application. NBI denied the use of Clearview AI in Finland.
About a week later, Buzzfeed told NBI that, according to their information, the Finnish police had used the software about 120 times. The Police Board and the NBI immediately launched an investigation and found that the Buzzfeed data turned out to be correct.
NBI informed the EDPS about the use of the application and said that the agency will stop using it.
Last week, Politico reported online Clearview AI had the documents challenged from organizations that had exposed the company’s controversial activities.
According to Politico, the challenges could have a cooling effect on other groups when they report to Clearview AI or other companies. "potentially problematic techniques."
Source: The Nordic Page