Confirmed: Swedish police used facial recognition tool Clearview

A handful of Swedish police officers and employees have been reported for misconduct after using the controversial facial recognition app Clearview.

A handful of Swedish police officers and employees have been reported for using Clearview in ongoing investigations.

Details of how the police used the app emerged on Wednesday, days after the Police Authority had urged its employees not to use Clearview as it would likely violate data protection regulations.

Police told Swedish Radio that employees investigating sexual crimes had used the app and on at least one occasion identified an underage victim.

"It has been tested in our operations on a few occasions," Patrick Cordner, head of the IT crimes unit at the Swedish Police Authority, told Swedish Radio.

He said Clearview was introduced to law enforcement officials from several countries at a Europol conference in the fall of 2019, and was later picked up by others at the IT crimes unit in Stockholm.

Europol were not immediately available for comment.

"We have internal procedures that dictate how to introduce new tools. They have not been followed in this case and that is not good", Patrick Cordner said.

The Norwegian police recently told public broadcaster NRK it had also used Clearview to investigate sex crimes.

In February, Buzzfeed News reported that government agencies in more than 20 European countries had used Clearview, which has recently been banned in several US states such as New Jersey.