Open Letter to Our Customers

By Hoan Ton-That BLOG

CLEARVIEW AI PARTNERS WITH VICTIM RIGHTS ADVOCATE TO PREVENT FRT ABUSE

To our valued state, local, and federal law enforcement partners,

Clearview AI was an unknown startup until the New York Times put us on their front page in January 2020. We were only a tiny company at the time with barely 10 employees. I was unprepared for intense pressure, both personally and professionally, that would be typically reserved for multi-billion-dollar corporations. I weathered those tough days by remaining focused on the mission I share with all of you: to make this world a safer place.

It is a miracle we survived. Today we have over 45 full-time employees and serve over 3,100 law enforcement agencies around the United States and we are still alive and thriving.

Clearview AI’s technology was used to help identify many of the Capitol rioters on Jan 6th. We hired an experienced executive team, a stellar advisory board, a crack legal team, raised another $30 million in venture financing, and we were selected as a TIME100 Most Influential Company last year. Our algorithm has ranked as the most accurate in the U.S. and Western World, and #2 worldwide by NIST, putting to bed any concerns around accuracy and racial bias.

Every day we hear from our customers in law enforcement about how our product has been able to assist them in solving heinous crimes against children, seniors, and other victims of unscrupulous acts. To this date, we know of no wrongful arrest due to the use of Clearview AI’s technology.

Today, the Internet is used to commit all kinds of crimes such as sex trafficking, financial fraud, and money laundering. Big tech companies resist working with the government to help end these crimes. Advocacy groups, who previously defended the right to collect public information from the internet under the First Amendment, have turned on their principles to attack us.

While our best minds in tech are working on getting you to click more ads, foreign powers are focused on using technology to hack into our government and corporations. They seek to overtake our country with the latest technology, but we should not let that happen.

The breakdown between government and corporate America is most evident in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). China now leads America, not just in research, but widespread adoption of AI technology. Other countries collaborate with their technology companies to advance their national agenda, while our tech companies are incentivized to sow discord for the clicks.

In just one year, in just one field office within a federal agency, Clearview AI’s technology has resulted in the arrest of 66 child abusers and the rescue of 103 children. We are proud of our record and proud to work alongside law enforcement to help solve crimes and protect the innocent and most vulnerable.

We should not live in a world where police need to use descriptions such as “6ft1 African Male” across the police radio. Instead, we should live in a safer world with fewer unnecessary police interactions.

We should not live in a world where the local news broadcasts a photo of a suspect or missing child and a justice system that relies on unreliable eyewitness testimony. Instead, we should live in a world where any criminal suspect or missing child can be identified in a matter of seconds. If your child was missing, you would want to use Clearview AI.

Both China and Russia have implemented real-time surveillance to target minority populations. We should not leave it to those countries to show the way for the world. We can set an example of using the technology, not in a real-time way, but in a way that protects human rights, due process, and our freedoms.

It is heartbreaking that countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, where I grew up, have misinterpreted my technology and intentions. I am disheartened by the misinterpretation of Clearview AI’s technology to society. I welcome the opportunity to engage in conversation with leaders and lawmakers so that the true value of this technology, which has proven so essential to law enforcement, can continue to make communities safe.

America needs to show the rest of the world the best and highest purpose of this technology. We should understand that there will be no civil liberties and no America if China and Russia are the only countries with facial recognition technology.

So, I thank you for your commitment to Clearview AI as we have grown over the past few years, but more importantly I want to thank you for your partnership in our shared mission to make this world a safer place. We will continue to fight tirelessly to educate those who are misinformed. We will continue to work with policy makers and leaders to set stronger policies and establish best practices for responsible use. We will continue to innovate for good so that we can deliver accurate, unbiased AI-powered technology that protects human rights, keeps communities safe, protects victims, and promotes justice.

Sincerely,




Hoan Ton-That

Founder & CEO of Clearview AI

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HOAN TON-THAT

Founder & CEO of Clearview AI

A self taught engineer, Hoan Ton-That is of Vietnamese and Australian heritage. His father's family descended from the Royal Family of Vietnam. As a student, Hoan was ranked #1 solo competitor in Australia’s Informatics Olympiad. He was ranked #2 guitarist under age 16 in Australia’s National Eisteddfod Music Competition. At the age of 19, Hoan moved from Australia to San Francisco to focus on his career in technology. He created over twenty iPhone and Facebook applications with over 10 million installations, some of which ranked in the App Store’s Top 10. Hoan moved to New York City in 2016. In 2017, he co-founded Clearview AI and focused his energy on developing the core technology, raising capital, and building the team and product.