ClearView AI Firm Fined £7.5m: Ordered to Delete Customer Data

ClearView AI was fined £7.5 million ($9.4 million) by the Information Commissioner's Office for violating the UK’s GDPR laws — and was also ordered to stop capturing / using UK resident data.

According to the ICO, ClearView AI failed to notify individuals in the United Kingdom that it was gathering Web and social media photos to build a worldwide online database for facial recognition and to have a legal basis for doing so.

The ICO also said that ClearView AI failed to have a procedure in place to prevent the data being held without a time-limit and failed to meet data regulation standards for biometric data as laid out by the GDPR.

ClearView’s Reasons for Wanting More Data

ClearView made a historic deal this month to permanently shut down its databases for Illinois government and local police departments, in addition to permanently abandoning its databases for these agencies in the U.S. On the other hand, the technology company continues to provide its services outside of Illinois.

ClearView AI is an artificial intelligence-based solution that optimises digital ads to increase conversion rate and engagement. It does so by converting ads into digital experiences that users want to see and interact with, rather than just a series of images. 

Showing relevant ads to your users at the right time ensures that they get the right message at the right time, which also helps reduce online clutter. ClearView AI also increases relevance by tracking user behaviour and habits in order to personalise ad content even more. 

This way, advertisers can show their ads only to those who are most likely interested in them, lowering their marketing costs while improving ROI.

What is the problem ClearView AI aims to solve?

The reason why most digital advertising platforms are failing is because they are not able to provide the right type of ad to their users at the right time. They are also not able to track user behaviour and preferences to ensure that they are only showing the right type of ads. 

The problem can be traced back to the first digital ads, when they were simply images. Instead of providing relevant content, they just delivered irrelevant pictures to users, which made them lose interest in the product and the brand. 

For example, when you receive a generic ad for a car company, what are you going to do? You have no idea what the ad is trying to tell you, so you just skip it, and you wonder why the company spends so much money on digital advertising. So, the first step to solve these problems is to use machine learning and artificial intelligence skill-sets to improve the efficiency of the ad delivery system.

Ad evaluation using AI and Machine Learning

Digital ads are evaluated based on how likely they are to be clicked. An AI model looks at the click-through rate (CTR) and the click-through-ability of an ad, as well as the engagement of the ad itself. It determines how likely the user is to click on the ad. 

Once the ad is evaluated and the priority of the ad is determined, it is converted into a visual format. The visual format is then uploaded to a server that stores all the user data, which makes this a form of marketing. Once the user is logged in, the AI generates the right image and text for that user based on their preferences, such as their location and past buying behaviour.

The AI can also track the user’s behaviour and preferences to personalise the ad even more. The more data you share with the advertiser, the more relevant their ads get. This is what allows advertisers to optimise ads to increase their chances of generating a sale.

Once the content of the ad is determined, an algorithm analyzes the content, looking for any keywords and phrases that are relevant to the user. If necessary, keywords are replaced with synonyms or paraphrased versions of the original text. 

After the content of the ad is determined, the algorithm then tries to create a unique visual content for the ad. To generate the visual content, the algorithm uses the data you provided about your user’s interests and purchases to create a unique visual content for the ad. 

The visual content is then uploaded to a server that stores all the user data. From there, the visual content is transferred to the advertiser’s servers, where it is converted into a format that the advertiser’s system can understand, such as an HTML document or an image.


You might not think that your personal data has a significant impact on your everyday life, but you’d be wrong. Today, nearly every facet of our lives is influenced by data — from the clothes we buy to the friends we make and even where we live. In other words, personal data is a crucial aspect of modern society.

That being said, not everyone sees the importance of data privacy in the same way as you do. In fact, some people see it as a hindrance to their own lifestyle. This can make it challenging to understand why taking measures to protect your personal information is so important.

Data privacy is important because it protects you from having your information used by others in ways that you don’t agree with. It keeps your data safe from being stolen and ensures that your free speech rights are protected. When your data is not protected, you could have your information misused by hackers, organisations that shouldn’t have access to it, or even by yourself.