MPs phone on Ottawa to tighten restrictions on use of facial recognition engineering – Nationwide


A Property of Commons committee is calling for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technological innovation by federal law enforcement and Canadian corporations until there is court docket authorization or input from the privateness watchdog.

In a report tabled Tuesday, the committee on accessibility to information, privacy and ethics also urges the government to acquire a regulatory framework about works by using, prohibitions, oversight and privacy of the emerging resource.

Facial recognition technology can make it possible for an image of a person’s deal with to be matched versus a databases of images with the intention of figuring out the individual.

Examine a lot more:

Who ‘owns’ our faces and how will facial recognition be used?

The MPs say appropriate privacy protections really should handle issues like accuracy, retention of data and transparency in facial recognition initiatives, as effectively as a complete approach close to educated consent by Canadians for the use of their personal details.

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They also want the authorities to amend the non-public-sector privateness legislation to prohibit capturing photographs of Canadians from the web or public areas for the reason of populating facial recognition technological innovation databases or synthetic intelligence algorithms.

Several witnesses who took aspect in committee hearings acknowledged some favourable employs of facial recognition, this kind of as speedy and protected payments at a checkout counter, everyday living-preserving medical apps and solving crimes.

Having said that, MPs also read about the risks of misidentification of Black and Asian people by way of the engineering indiscriminate and warrantless mass surveillance and the lack of regulation, transparency and accountability from law enforcement and intelligence organizations.

The report warns that with out an proper framework, facial recognition engineering and other synthetic intelligence instruments could result in irreparable harm to some persons.


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These improvements ought to be made use of responsibly inside of a strong legislative framework that safeguards Canadians’ privateness rights and civil liberties, the MPs say.

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“Since this sort of a legislative framework does not exist at the time, a nationwide pause should be imposed on the use of FRT, particularly with regard to police solutions.”

The committee “strongly encourages” Ottawa to employ its suggestions as rapidly as feasible.

Tim McSorley, national co-ordinator of the Worldwide Civil Liberties Monitoring Team, welcomed the report, noting that for far more than two a long time, federal government regulators, civil society teams and leading specialists in human legal rights and technological innovation have been contacting for decisive action on facial recognition by the federal governing administration.

“We hope that this hottest report last but not least leads to the authorized reforms that are needed to rein in facial recognition, and artificial intelligence technologies more broadly,” reported McSorley, who testified ahead of the committee in March.

In May perhaps, Canada’s privateness commissioners claimed it really should be illegal for law enforcement to use facial recognition technological innovation to watch folks concerned in tranquil protest.

Study extra:

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In a joint statement, federal, provincial and territorial privacy watchdogs also termed for a prohibition on any law enforcement deployment of the engineering that could consequence in mass surveillance.

The privateness commissioners of British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have purchased facial recognition corporation Clearview AI to prevent amassing, employing and disclosing illustrations or photos of people today devoid of consent.

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An investigation by the three provincial watchdogs and their federal counterpart located in February very last 12 months that Clearview AI’s engineering resulted in mass surveillance of Canadians and violated federal and provincial regulations governing private data.

They said the New York-centered company’s scraping of billions of photos of people from across the world wide web — to assist law enforcement forces, financial institutions and other customers identify people— was a apparent breach of Canadians’ privacy rights.

© 2022 The Canadian Press



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