Clearview AI is an American technology company software. It is claimed as marketed primarily for law enforcement agencies. Apple has now suspended this app from its app store as per the controversy.
The app has flouted its policies. Apple disabled Clearview AI on the 28th of February as it accounted for violating the terms and policies of their Developer Enterprise Program, which is meant for companies to use and distribute apps internally. Also, Apple gave 14 days to Clear view AI to give an explanation and rectify the issue.
Clearview AI founder and CEO Hoan Ton-That stated "We are in contact with Apple and working on complying with their terms and conditions," he added that “The app cannot be used without a valid Clearview account. A user can download the app, but not perform any searches without proper authorization and credentials,".
The company has been under intense examination after a New York Times investigation. It revealed that the Clearview AI allowed the law enforcement companies to match the images of unknown faces to the online photographs of people. Also, it stores those images even after the people delete the image from their accounts or even if they make it private.
That policy led to layoffs from tech giants Twitter (TWTR), Google (Good) and Facebook (FB). Some states, such as New Jersey, have banned state law enforcement agencies from using Clearview AI when they investigate the software. Clearview AI says that more than 3 billion photos have been removed from the Internet, claiming that authorities and banks are using it to solve crimes and detect fraud.
A code of conduct posted on the company's website a month ago says "Clearview AI's search engine is available only for law enforcement agencies and select security professionals to use as an investigative tool, and its results contain only public information,"
Ton-That, in early February said in an interview with CNN Business that he wants to build a "great American company" with "the best of intentions."
But fears about the company's capabilities and security grows day by day. Earlier this week it was said that hackers had obtained their entire list of customers through a data breach.