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Hoan Ton-That, founder of Clearview AI, tests his company's facial recognition software, in Manhattan, on Jan. 10, 2019.Amr Alfiky/The New York Times News Service

Britain’s data watchdog and its Australian counterpart said on Thursday that they launched a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of facial-recognition technology company Clearview AI.

The investigation will be conducted by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, focusing on the New York-based company’s use of “scraped” data and biometrics of individuals.

Clearview did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The company is also under investigation in Canada, where Clearview said it would no longer offer its facial-recognition services.

Clearview AI bills itself as a tool for law enforcement, scraping the internet for publicly available photos and using facial recognition to identify potential suspects.

Critics in some countries have raised concerns about the lack of consent of those searched, and the potential for misuse of the service.