March 12 (UPI) -- Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan filed a lawsuit against facial recognition software company Clearview AI after allegations that it collected photos billions of people from the Internet without their consent.
The suit alleges that Clearview broke Vermont's Data Broker Law and its Consumer Protection Act by using the practice known as "screen scraping" to collect photos of people from websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google and adding them to its database.
"I am disturbed by this practice, particularly the practice of collecting and selling children's facial recognition data," Donovan said. "This practice is unscrupulous, unethical and contrary to public policy. I will continue to fight for the privacy of Vermonters, particularly our most valuable."
Donovan said that no Vermont state or local law enforcement agencies have made use of the app.
Clearview late last month sent a notification to its customers that its entire database was exposed in a data breach including its list of customers, the number of user accounts those customers had set up and how many searches they conducted.
The company has a database of 3 billion photos it uses to allow private businesses, individuals and law enforcement to identify a person based on their photograph.