The federal lawsuit accusing facial recognition startup Clearview AI of infringing millions of people’s privacy rights by gathering copious amounts of facial data has been settled. This settlement, which is expected to be valued more than $50 million, adopts a novel strategy by giving plaintiffs a stake in Clearview’s prospective future value as opposed to the customary cash award.

The lawsuit focused on Clearview’s practice of stealing images from social media and other websites in order to compile a sizable database. It was gathered from instances all throughout the United States. We then marketed this database to companies, private citizens, and even federal authorities.

Following a different agreement that Clearview reached in Illinois in 2022, which forbade them from selling access to their database to outside parties, the parties have now reached this settlement. They were still able to collaborate with federal organizations and police enforcement outside of Illinois because to that arrangement, though.

Creative Solution for a Financially Strained Company

It’s important to note that Clearview admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Additionally, the company has not yet responded to requests for comment. However, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Jon Loevy, explains that the unique structure of the settlement was necessitated by Clearview’s financial situation.

According to Loevy, Clearview just lacked the financial resources to provide just compensation to all those impacted. This innovative solution essentially gives those whose privacy was violated a stake in Clearview’s use of their biometric data and allows them to potentially benefit from the company’s future success.

Who is Eligible and What Comes Next?

It’s still unclear how many people are actually qualified to take part in the settlement. But because of the agreement’s sweeping language, everyone who has lived in the US since July 2017 and whose data or photographs are in Clearview’s database may be covered. There will be a national notification campaign to enlighten prospective claimants.

The settlement was developed through collaboration between attorneys for both sides and Wayne Andersen, a retired federal judge who currently mediates legal cases. Court documents reveal Andersen’s blunt assessment of Clearview’s financial standing, stating they would be unable to pay any significant judgment if the case went to trial.

Looking Forward: Unanswered Questions and Potential Impact

Numerous questions are raised by this settlement. What is the process going to be for determining the potential worth of Clearview and allocating it among the plaintiffs? In addition, worries about facial recognition technology’s effects on privacy persist because Clearview continues to collaborate with law police.

This case brings to light the ongoing controversy around facial recognition technology and the requirement for strict laws to safeguard people’s privacy. Those who are worried about this developing technology will be closely observing the settlement’s result and how it affects Clearview’s potential future success—or lack thereof.

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As an editor at Atom News, Ira Chatterjee combines her passion for storytelling with a commitment to journalistic integrity. Ira Chatterjee editorial expertise lies in technology and lifestyle, ensuring that our readers stay informed about the latest trends and innovations.