Yesterday the UK has fined Clearview AI 7.5 million pounds for a string of breaches of local privacy laws. The main reason for the fine is that Clearview has never asked individuals whether it can use their selfies in an AI-based identity-matching service which it sells to entities such as law enforcement. In the past the company has also been fined by privacy watchdogs from italy, France and Australia.

Meanwhile a polish facial recognition company called pimeyes is doing exactly the same thing as Clearview AI, it scrapes images from the web for use in an identity-matching service. The difference between this company and Clearview AI is that pimeyes does not scrape images from social media websites. Furthermore the service that Clearview AI offers is only available to law enforcement agencies whereas the service pimeyes offers can be used by anyone (provided they pay). Other then that there are no real differences between the two companies.

So why is it then that Clearview AI receives multimillion dollar fines from multiple countries whereas pimeyes was only investigated once by a german data watchdog? Like clearview AI, pimeyes.com does not ask permission before scraping publicly available images either. So why isn't the company pimeyes receiving multimillion dollar fines as well?

  • 4
    Your final link is behind a paywall, but it does say that PimEyes "is being investigated". Usually, fines are only issued at the end of an investigation not during it.
    – user35069
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 11:26
  • 4
    This German article by netzpolitik.org discusses some history of enforcement regarding PimEyes. Since the company moved from Poland to the Seychelles and later Belize, enforcement is practically impossible though. In any case, Clearview has had much more media attention, so there was more pressure on authorities to investigate than with PimEyes. Authorities do not have the resources to investigate everything at once and must prioritize.
    – amon
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


Why is it that police only stop some speeding motorists?

There are always more crooks than cops and therefore there will always be some who get away.

Given that the regulators do not have the resources to do everything they could do and not even everything they want to do, they have to choose who to target and who to ignore. Factors that influence that decision is how resource intensive the investigation will be, the likelihood of obtaining a conviction, and the prospects of collecting any resulting fine.

Clearview AI is a US based company and US courts will generally enforce UK court orders. Primeyes is based in Belize which is less cooperative with foreign law enforcement - largely so companies like primeyes will base themselves there.

That said, perhaps EU authorities just haven’t got to them yet.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .