ACLU Sues to Protect Rights of Illinois Undocumented Immigrants
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing data technology company Clearview AI in Illinois state court for violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The ACLU is suing the facial recognition company to protect the rights of Illinois undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable communities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a contract with the biometrics and facial recognition company. ICE has been using facial recognition technology to scan driver’s license photos in some states to identify undocumented immigrants. Illinois denied ICE’s requests to review state driver’s licenses.
The ACLU says Clearview AI illegally collected information including the images of residents of Illinois without their consent and is selling the information to law enforcement and private companies. The ACLU is accusing Clearview AI of “unlawful, privacy-destroying surveillance activities” that will end privacy as we know it. The lawsuit argues the company scrapes social media sites and uses the photos for biometric identification and facial recognition for “groups representing sexual assault survivors, undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable communities uniquely harmed by surveillance,” according to the New York Times.
Researchers have found that facial recognition systems are worse at accurately identifying the faces of people of color, and exhibit bias against Black and Asian faces. The ACLU has been joined in the lawsuit by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, the Sex Workers Outreach Project and the Illinois State Public Interest Research Group.
The technology company has gathered photos from many sources including public social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Venmo and YouTube. Clearview has hired a well-known freedom of speech attorney to represent their First Amendment rights case for data harvesting.
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