Clearview AI, the company behind the controversial facial recognition technology, has confirmed that hackers stole its entire client list.
Among these clients are several police forces in Canada, including the Toronto Police Service.
Clearview AI says that it has patched the flaw that allowed the data breach to happen, but has not provided specificity on the type of flaw. It says that it is updating its practices to prevent a similar occurrence.
The New York-based company uses images scraped from social media and other websites to cross-reference uploaded images of people. The system reportedly has three billion photos on its database.
Clearview AI notified its customers that a hacker gained unauthorized access to its client list, but that the hackers didn’t obtain search histories conducted by the clients. The company’s main clientele base includes law enforcement and banks.
Controversy around the company began when the New York Times revealed that numerous police services in North America were using the facial recognition technology.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and several provincial commissioners have opened up an investigation into the technology.