The RCMP’s use of controversial facial recognition technology was a serious violation of Canada’s privacy laws, says a new investigation.
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien tabled a report to Parliament Thursday morning after investigating the national police force’s use of Clearview AI.
“The use of facial recognition technology by the RCMP to search through massive repositories of Canadians who are innocent of any suspicion of crime presents a serious violation of privacy,” he found.
“A government institution cannot collect personal information from a third party agent if that third party agent collected the information unlawfully.”
Concerns about the company Clearview AI intensified last year after a New York Times investigation revealed the software had extracted more than three billion photos from public websites like Facebook and Instagram. It then turned them into a database used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.
Therrien says while the RCMP is no longer using Clearview AI, he remains concerned that the force did not agree with his conclusion that it contravened the Privacy Act.
More to come.