Clearview AI Suffers Data Breach: Entire Client List Stolen

With all the controversy surrounding the company and software, the last thing Clearview AI needed is a major data breach with clients exposed.

The software has done a lot to garner negative attention in the last while. It’s sparking investigations in Canada, lawsuits in the US, and caused European officials to declare its use illegal. This over top of some people in the privacy community to consider it a direct threat to personal privacy.

Now, controversy over the software is only increasing. News is surfacing that the company has been hacked. As a result, the entire client list has been stolen. From the Daily Beast:

A facial-recognition company that contracts with powerful law-enforcement agencies just reported that an intruder stole its entire client list, according to a notification the company sent to its customers.

In the notification, which The Daily Beast reviewed, the startup Clearview AI disclosed to its customers that an intruder “gained unauthorized access” to its list of customers, to the number of user accounts those customers had set up, and to the number of searches its customers have conducted. The notification said the company’s servers were not breached and that there was “no compromise of Clearview’s systems or network.” The company also said it fixed the vulnerability and that the intruder did not obtain any law-enforcement agencies’ search histories.

Tor Ekeland, an attorney for the company, said Clearview prioritizes security.

“Security is Clearview’s top priority,” he said in a statement provided to 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.”

One thing to remember is the fact that the company operates in the US. Last year, Facebook suffered from a data leak. In response, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Facebook $5 billion for failing to secure its data. So, it’ll be interesting to see if regulators will give a similar treatment to the startup company. With lawsuits already facing the company, this latest incident means the company is open up to even more risk of liabilities.

Either way, the picture for the software company is going from bad to worse at this point.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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