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Apple bans Clearview AI facial recognition on iPhones following a breach by developers

Clearview AI facial recognition app is specially designed for law enforcement departments

Apple has blocked users from using the controversial Clearview AI facial recognition app on iPhones. Apple claimed that the company was in violation of its developer agreement and terminated its account. The step is a fresh blow to the Clearview  AI facial recognition technology startup for which also faces litigation and privacy advocates challenges.

Clearview AI used its developer account to spread its apps to law enforcement customers, a strategy that authorized it to circumvent Apple’s App Store, and breached the requirements of Apple, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday. An Apple representative said, “That’s against the rules of Apple,”  so the company blocked the Clearview AI account.

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The Clearview AI Founder and Chief Executive, Hoan Ton-That, said in a statement, “We are in contact with Apple and working on complying with their terms and conditions.”

Clearview app is specially designed for law enforcement departments, and what the company calls “security professionals” uses facial recognition to identify people wherever the app is effectively used to removing much of the privacy people expect while walking the streets.

The app has raised hackles of privacy, which one complaint against Clearview considers “Orwellian” software. The customer list of Clearview AI was released this week after a data breach.

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