Apple Disables Clearview AI's Developer Account After Violating Enterprise Certificate Rules

Apple has disabled the developer account of New York City-based facial recognition startup Clearview AI and provided the company with 14 days to respond for violating the rules of its enterprise program, according to BuzzFeed News.

As part of the program, Apple issues enterprise certificates to large organizations to deploy select apps to their employees for internal use only, but the report claims that Clearview AI was distributing its facial recognition app to more than 2,200 public and private entities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, Macy's, Walmart, and the NBA. This scheme allowed customers to download the app outside of the App Store by installing the certificate on their device.

apple enterprise dev program
Clearview AI's website says that it "searches the open web" for "publicly available images," helping law enforcement agencies to "identify perpetrators and victims of crimes" and to "exonerate the innocent."

Earlier this week, Clearview AI revealed that an intruder "gained unauthorized access" to its list of clients, according to The Daily Beast. The New York Times profiled the controversial company last month, claiming it has "a database of more than three billion images" scraped from platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Apple took similar action against Facebook and Google last year after each company was found to be using enterprise certificates to distribute consumer-facing apps, but the certificates were later restored, presumably after Facebook and Google agreed to use them strictly for internal-use apps only as required.

Top Rated Comments

TacoChowder Avatar
12 months ago


There we go again, he who do not want to be regulated, regulates. Enforce Apple to use USB-C or revoke saleslicense...

Well, this is within the rules of their platform, them enforcing those rules is absolutely fine. And also **** facial recognition.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
12 months ago


And it is within the rules of a country to enforce Apple to comply, that’s absolutely fine as well.

Private enterprise regulating private enterprise via let your customers dollars do the talking is good. Government micro-regulating private industry is a recipe for disaster.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mariusignorello Avatar
12 months ago


And it is within the rules of a country to enforce Apple to comply, that’s absolutely fine as well.

A country’s government is asking a technology company to change the charging port on their devices on the grounds that it makes things more universal...how about no. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

Next they’ll ask for all operating system UIs to be the same and all code bases to be the same. Do you see where this is going?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
12 months ago
These comments are getting off topic. This has nothing to do with Apple abusing their position.

Clearview AI knowingly violated their developer agreement, and Apple has taken action to enforce the rules. Perfectly valid response.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
12 months ago


There we go again, he who do not want to be regulated, regulates. Enforce Apple to use USB-C or revoke saleslicense...

Apple allows developers to use enterprise certificates only to distribute apps to employees.

Using those certs to bypass the App Store is not allowed under the terms of the developer license. They will, and should be, revoked.

This article has nothing to do with USB-C.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kyle4 Avatar
12 months ago
Clearview has previously repeatedly stated that it’s services are only for use by law enforcement. Thanks to the journalists at Buzzfeed news, it turns out they were lying and companies like Walmart and Macy’s were also using it too.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/clearview-ai-fbi-ice-global-law-enforcement
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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