Story by Donie O"Sullivan, BusinessVideo by Riphụ vương Naik và John General, Business

Updated 9:18 AM ET, Mon February 10, 2020

Over the last month, fears about facial recognition công nghệ và police surveillance have sầu intensified, all thanks lớn Ton-That"s startup, Clearview AI.
First came a front-page investigation in The Thủ đô New York Times, revealing Clearview has been working with law enforcement agencies lớn match photos of unknown faces to lớn people"s online images. Next, cease-and-desist letters rolled in from tech giants Twitter, Google & Facebook. Lawmakers made inquiries và New Jersey enacted a statewide ban on law enforcement using Clearview while it looks inkhổng lồ the software.
But during an interview at"s studtiện ích ios in Thủ đô New York City last week, Ton-That didn"t seem particularly fazed, saying the last few weeks were "interesting."
He demonstrated the technology and described himself as "honored" lớn kichồng off a broader conversation about facial recognition and privacy. He"s eager lớn build a "great American company" with "the best of intentions" & wouldn"t sell his sản phẩm khổng lồ Iran, Russia or Trung Quốc, he said. He claimed the technology is saving kids và solving crimes. And he said he welcomes government regulation.

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Ton-That told O"Sullivan that he"s ready to lớn defkết thúc Clearview AI"s công nghệ in court, if necessary. (Niamh McDonnell /
According lớn Ton-That, Clearview has downloaded billions of images from major social media platforms and from all different kinds of websites across the mạng internet — including, evidently, from my local newspaper.
Downloading and storing pictures this way is against most of the major social truyền thông platforms" policies.
The practice has prompted the likes of Facebook, Twitter và YouTube lớn send Clearview cease-and-desist letters.
Despite Facebook"s concerns about the company, Peter Thiel, who sits on Facebook"s board was an early investor in Clearview. Facebook, Thiel, và Ton-That all declined lớn phản hồi on whether Thiel knew about how Clearview was downloading Facebook data and that it was against Facebook"s rules.

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"In 2017, Peter gave a talented young founder $200,000, which two years later converted lớn equity in Clearview AI. That was Peter"s only contribution; he is not involved in the company," Jeremiah Hall, a spokesperson for Thiel told Business.

I was deeply disturbed. I was concerned about how Clearview had amassed its database of images that it uses with its giải pháp công nghệ. I was concerned about its data privacy và cybersecurity measures that it takes."

Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General

Technology companies have sầu essentially no control of what happens to data, in this case pictures, after they are downloaded from their platforms.
Ensuring someone actually complies with a cease-and-desist letter when it comes khổng lồ data is also essentially impossible. Once images are downloaded, as they have been by Clearview, they can be copied again and again, stored on multiple computers & servers in different places all around the world, và that"s even before they are distributed or made available to third parties. Clearview"s clients can access the images.
In 2015, Facebook asked Cambridge Analytica to lớn delete Facebook data it had gathered, but when it emerged in 2018 that all the data may not have sầu been deleted, it turned inkhổng lồ one of the greatest scandals Facebook had confronted in its history.
Ton-That"s defense of his giải pháp công nghệ & his collection methods may lvà hyên in court and make hlặng các buổi tiệc nhỏ lớn landmark rulings that phối precedent for how American grapples with artificial intelligence in the 21st century.
Asked if he is ready lớn step out from behind the computer screen khổng lồ face days in court, he says, "Sure. Yeah. I don"t think there"ll be that many."