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Attorney General Donovan Raises Concerns About Border Patrol’s Use of Clearview AI Facial Recognition Technology

December 13, 2021

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting information about the agencies’ use of Clearview AI in Vermont. Clearview AI is a technology company that collected billions of citizens’ images from the internet for the purpose of creating a mass surveillance facial recognition system. In March 2020, Attorney General Donovan sued Clearview AI for violating Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act and Data Broker law. Today’s letter to CBP and DHS requests information from the agencies so that the Attorney General’s Office can “better understand the impacts upon Vermont’s legitimate rights to privacy and liberty.”

Attorney General Donovan raised concerns about DHS’ use of Clearview AI earlier this year in a comment letter on CBP’s proposed Remote Video Surveillance Systems towers in Vermont towns. CBP issued its final agency action in August but did not directly address the privacy concerns, including unwarranted surveillance, raised by the Attorney General. Attorney General Donovan is now requesting information from the agencies about their current and planned use of Clearview AI both at the Vermont-Canada border and throughout the state.

A copy of today’s letter is available here.