Clearview AI wins facial recognition appeal, EE launches new digital platform

A company that enables its clients to search a database of billions of images scraped from the internet for matches to a particular face has won an appeal against the UK’s privacy watchdog. Last year, Clearview AI was fined more than £7.5m by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for unlawfully storing facial images. Jack Mulcaire, Clearview AI’s lawyer, said the firm was “pleased”. The ICO said it would “take stock” of the judgement. Clearview AI offers its clients a system that works like a search engine for faces – users upload a photo and it finds matches in a database of billions of images. BBC 

EE has announced an ambitious new digital platform for UK consumers based around an ‘EE ID’. It will offer new products, including 1.6GBps broadband connectivity (with work and gaming options) where available as well as priority gaming services. Through the digital platform, customers can access products and services from a wide range of tech companies from across the world, all in one place, claims EE. Powered by EE ID – a digital identity that anyone can sign up to regardless of whether they are an EE customer – the new platform can be accessed via the EE App as well as online. Tech Digest 

Twitter has begun charging some new users an annual fee as owner Elon Musk continues to seek new ways to generate revenue. Twitter, which has been rebranded as X by Mr Musk, has begun trialling a yearly $1 subscription fee for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines. New accounts must pay the fee in order to be able to use features such as tweeting, replying to messages and liking posts. While limited to two countries initially, the trial will raise fears that the charge could be rolled out more widely in the future. Telegraph 

New York Mayor Eric Adams. Image: Sky News

New York’s mayor has admitted using audio deepfakes to call residents in languages he doesn’t speak. Eric Adams has been heard speaking Spanish and Mandarin thanks to the technology, which he said was a way to reach more people. Speaking at a news briefing (in English), the Democrat said the “robocalls” were used to promote local events like recruitment fairs and concerts. The self-described “techie” insisted he had enjoyed positive feedback from residents, saying some he’d spoken to were “excited” to hear their mayor in their own language. Sky News 

Anyone who makes money from their hobbies and selling items online could be hit with tax bills and fines unless they get their tax affairs in order now, experts are warning. Sweeping new tax rules will be introduced on January 1, which could see thousands of people who earn a bit of extra income being caught out by the taxman if they haven’t declared it. Those affected include anyone who buys and sells clothes and household items using online marketplaces, sells homemade crafts or baked goods via the internet, works as a driver or rents out a holiday home via an online platform. ThisIsMoney

Apple has released a new version of its Pencil drawing tool, after days of speculation about updates for iPads. In recent days, some rumours have suggested that Apple was planning new versions of at least its base iPad and iPad mini, with a range of updates. But it appears those reports may be the result of confusion about the new launch, which actually just brought the new Pencil, which looks to be the only iPad-related updated so far. Apple refers to the new release as the “Apple Pencil (USB-C)”, and it now sits alongside the first and second generation of the drawing tool. Independent 

Chris Price