Incident 95: Job Screening Service Halts Facial Analysis of Applicants

Description: In January 2021, HireVue removed the controversial AI expression tracking tool from its virtual job interview software.


New ReportNew ReportNew ResponseNew ResponseDiscoverDiscoverView HistoryView History
Alleged: HireVue developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed job applicants using HireVue and HireVue customers.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam

CSETv0 Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Full Description

In January 2021, HireVue announced it would remove AI expression tracking from its platform following a complaint filed by the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center. HireVue is contracted by hundreds of companies to conduct employee screening through automated video and written job interviews. The tool in question tracked users' expressions during video interviews to predict certain employment characteristics. HireVue denies any bias in the algorithm, however decided to remove the feature in response to public outcry.

Short Description

In January 2021, HireVue removed the controversial AI expression tracking tool from its virtual job interview software.



AI System Description

HireVue's AI-enabled facial expression tracking software. The system was designed to detect "microexpressions" to evaluate the employment characteristics of an applicant.

System Developer


Sector of Deployment

Administrative and support service activities

Relevant AI functions

Perception, Cognition

AI Techniques

facial recognition, expression tracking

AI Applications

decision support, psychological inference



Named Entities

HireView, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Federal Trade Commission, O’Neil Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing, Kevin Parker, John Davisson

Technology Purveyor


Beginning Date


Ending Date


Near Miss




Lives Lost


Data Inputs

recorded video and audio

CSETv1 Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Harm Distribution Basis

disability, sex, race, sexual orientation or gender identity

Sector of Deployment

administrative and support service activities, professional, scientific and technical activities

A face-scanning algorithm increasingly decides whether you deserve the job · 2019

An artificial intelligence hiring system has become a powerful gatekeeper for some of America’s most prominent employers, reshaping how companies assess their workforce — and how prospective employees prove their worth.

Designed by the recr…

Complaint and Request for Investigation, Injunction, and Other Relief · 2019

I. Summary

This complaint concerns a company that purports to evaluate a job applicant’s qualifications based upon their appearance by means of an opaque, proprietary algorithm. HireVue, a firm located in Utah, provides theses “assessments”…

Rights group files federal complaint against AI-hiring firm HireVue, citing ‘unfair and deceptive’ practices · 2019

A prominent rights group is urging the Federal Trade Commission to take on the recruiting-technology company HireVue, arguing that the firm has turned to unfair and deceptive trade practices in its use of face-scanning technology to assess …

Job Screening Service Halts Facial Analysis of Applicants · 2021

But it’s still using intonation and behavior to assist with hiring decisions.

Job hunters may now need to impress not just prospective bosses but artificial intelligence algorithms too—as employers screen candidates by having them answer in…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.