Clearview AI has created a powerful facial recognition tool and marketed it to police departments and government agencies. The company has never disclosed the entities that have used its facial recognition software, but a confidential source provided BuzzFeed News with data that appeared to be a list of agencies and companies whose employees have tried or used its technology.
Using that data, along with public records and interviews we have created a searchable database of US-based taxpayer-funded entities, including tribal, local, and state police departments publicly funded university law enforcement bodies; district attorneys’ offices; and federal agencies such as the Air Force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We have included only those agencies for which the data shows that at least one associated individual ran at least one facial recognition scan as of February 2020.
The database has limitations. Clearview has neither verified nor disputed the underlying data. The data begins in 2018 and ends in February 2020, so it does not account for any activity after that time or for any additional organizations that may have started using Clearview after February 2020.
Not all searches corresponded to an investigation, and some agencies told us that their employees had merely run test searches to see how well the technology worked. BuzzFeed News created search ranges based on data that showed how many times individuals at a given organization ran photos through Clearview.
We found inaccuracies in the data, including organizations with misspelled names or placed in the wrong state, and we moved to correct those issues when they could be confirmed. If we were not able to confirm the existence of an entity, we removed it.
BuzzFeed News gave every agency or organization in this database the opportunity to comment on whether it had used Clearview’s technology and if the software had led to any arrests. Of the 1,803 entities in this database:
- 335 said they had employees who used or tried Clearview AI.
- Officials at 34 of those organizations said they were unaware that their employees had signed up for free trials until our questions prompted them to look.
- Officials at another 69 entities at first denied their employees had used Clearview but later determined that some of them had.
- 97 entities declined to say whether their employees used Clearview.
- 210 organizations denied any use of Clearview.
- 1,161 organizations did not respond to requests for comment.
Responses from the agencies, including if they denied using Clearview’s technology or did not respond to requests for comment, are included in the table.
Just because an agency appears on the list does not mean BuzzFeed News was able to confirm that it actually used the tool, or that its officials approved its employees’ use of Clearview.
By searching this database, you affirm that you understand its limitations.