ACLU of Northern California et al. v. ICE
In October 2020, the ACLU of Northern California, the Immigrant Defense Project, Just Futures Law, and Mijente filed FOIA requests seeking records of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection's use of Clearview AI's face surveillance system.
On April 13, 2021, the ACLU of Northern California, along with the Immigrant Defense Project, Just Futures Law, and Mijente, sued DHS, ICE, and CBP under the Freedom of Information Act because none of the agencies responded substantively to the FOIA requests, even though public reporting has shown ICE and CBP have either used Clearview AI’s products in the past or indeed have active contracts with the company.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks any records that would indicate “past and present use of Clearview AI facial recognition technology, including contracts, policies, procedures for verifying results and auditing use of the technology, and related correspondence between the agencies and Clearview AI.”
In July 2021 Defendants agreed to begin producing responsive records to Plaintiffs on a rolling basis. A summary of records produced thus far can be found here.
Clearview AI continues to expand its government work rapidly. It works with over 3,100 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which did not know of or authorize its use by employees. Despite this growth, the company is facing significant legal challenges in states throughout the country and was recently ruled illegal in Canada; it is being investigated by several governments across the world.