The First Amendment Should Protect Us from Facial Recognition Technologies – Not the Other Way Around
Talya Whyte & Jake Karr

Should the First Amendment allow facial recognition companies to scrape photos of you off the internet and train AI surveillance systems that law enforcement then uses against peaceful protestors? Clearview AI thinks so. In recent years, Clearview has faced numerous lawsuits seeking to hold the company accountable for its invasive facial recognition app. And in every one of the suits, the company has attempted to immunize itself from liability by arguing that its business model for developing and deploying its facial recognition technology is “speech” protected by the First Amendment.

But if courts were to accept this argument, it would be dangerous. Not only would it allow Clearview’s activities to go unchecked, but it would also create a major obstacle to regulating and protecting the public from the harms and risks of emerging AI technologies.