Clearview AI Settles ACLU Illinois Lawsuit Confirming Continuity of Business Supporting Public Safety

Agreement confirms company’s compliance with privacy law while allowing continued growth of Clearview AI’s industry leading facial recognition technology (FRT) platform

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Clearview AI, the leading facial recognition technology company that provides powerful and reliable photo identification technology to law enforcement agencies across the country, has reached a settlement agreement in Illinois state court that confirms the company’s compliance with the state’s privacy law. The settlement does not change Clearview’s current business of providing access to its search engine to government agencies for the purpose of investigating crimes and enhancing national security.

The settlement agreement, filed in Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County, disposes of a lawsuit brought by plaintiff American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which makes exemptions for government and government contractors, banking and bank affiliates as well as consent-based usage.

Hoan Ton-That, Clearview AI’s CEO said, “The court’s endorsement of the BIPA settlement is an achievement for Clearview AI’s customers and our mission of providing justice to victims of crime across the country. Clearview AI intends to serve private sector clients with product offerings that are not affected by this agreement, focused on our core mission of enhancing security.”


  • Clearview AI will continue to serve its law enforcement and government customers by providing them with the company’s facial recognition search engine tool that searches a growing database of 20+ billion publicly available images, the largest database of its kind anywhere in the world.
  • Clearview AI will be able to provide its powerful FRT algorithm to private commercial entities for security purposes.
  • Clearview AI did not admit any liability. The company agreed to pay only $250,000 in plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and will pay no damages to anyone.

“Today, facial recognition is used to unlock your phone, verify your identity, board an airplane, access a building and even for payments. This settlement does not preclude Clearview AI selling its bias-free algorithm, without its database, to commercial entities, which is fully compliant with BIPA,” Ton-That added.

Lee Wolosky, partner at Jenner & Block on behalf of Clearview AI, stated, “This settlement is a huge win for Clearview AI. Clearview will make no changes to its current business model, it will continue to expand its business offerings in compliance with applicable law and it will pay a small amount of money to cover advertising and fees, far less than continued litigation would cost.” Mr. Wolosky is a former U.S. ambassador and national security official under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.

Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, also representing Clearview AI, said, “Clearview AI is pleased to put this litigation behind it. The settlement does not require any material change in the company’s business model or bar it from any conduct in which it engages at the present time. Clearview AI currently does not provide its services to law enforcement agencies in Illinois, even though it may lawfully do so. To avoid a protracted, costly and distracting legal dispute with the ACLU and others, Clearview AI has agreed to continue to not provide its services to law enforcement agencies in Illinois for a period of time.” Mr. Abrams is an expert on constitutional and First Amendment law and has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Clearview AI’s FRT platform is used by law enforcement agencies to help solve crimes after-the-fact by quickly and accurately matching photos of suspects, persons of interest and potential victims against a database of more than 20 billion publicly available facial images. It affords law enforcement the unparalleled ability to match photos from the widest possible field comprising a multitude of ages, ethnicities and physical characteristics – a dataset that is much more representative of the population than mug shot or DMV image libraries, helping to eliminate bias in the image matching process. Clearview AI is not a real time surveillance tool.

Clearview AI’s FRT platform has been instrumental in helping investigators solve thousands of cases including crimes against children, homicides, financial frauds, drug trafficking, sex offenders as well as victim and missing person identifications.

In January, Clearview AI was awarded a U.S. patent for its unique facial recognition algorithm, which performed nearly flawlessly in the recent National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Facial Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT), ranking No. 1 in the U.S. and top 10 worldwide across all categories.

Clearview AI

Clearview AI provides law enforcement agencies with a revolutionary facial recognition search engine that helps investigators solve crimes after the fact. Its platform of more than 20 billion facial images, the largest known database of its kind, is sourced from public-only web sources, including news media, mugshot websites, public social media, and many other open sources. Law enforcement agencies that use Clearview AI receive high-quality leads with fewer resources expended. When supported by other evidence, these leads help law officials accurately and rapidly identify suspects, protect victims, and keep communities safe. TIME recently named Clearview AI one of the world’s “100 Most Influential Companies.”


Media contact: Lisa Linden, The LAKPR Group,

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