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MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology
NDP MP Charlie Angus makes his way to the podium at the start of a news conference in Ottawa, Monday April 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
OTTAWA -- The controversial use of facial-recognition tools will soon be scrutinized by MPs.
Members of the House of Commons committee on access to information, privacy and ethics voted this week to examine the technology's effects on civil society, privacy rights, minorities and vulnerable populations.
New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, who put forward the idea, suggested the committee study use of the emerging tools by governments, police, companies and individuals.
Advanced digital applications now allow computers to quickly sift millions of stored images and match them against photos of a person taken at places such as an airport, demonstration or sporting event.
The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children, seniors and various racial communities.
They will also investigate how the tools can be used for criminal harassment or other illegal surveillance purposes, as well as any links between Canadian police and technology firms that market such applications.