Privacy watchdog probes RCMP's use of facial-recognition software
Canada's Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien waits to appear before The International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The federal privacy watchdog and three of his provincial counterparts will jointly investigate Canadian use of facial-recognition technology supplied by U.S. firm Clearview AI. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
OTTAWA -- The federal privacy commissioner is investigating the RCMP's use of cutting-edge facial-recognition software.
The technology made by American company Clearview AI gathers huge numbers of images from various sources that can help police forces and financial institutions identify people.
Yet it also comes with major privacy concerns about how the data allows people to be tracked and how the information is kept and shared.
While the Mounties say they're experimenting with Clearview's technology to identify and rescue children in images of sexual abuse posted online, they have been vague about what other purposes they are using it for.
Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien and his office were already examining Clearview AI's practices and are now adding a separate investigation into how the RCMP use the technology.
The RCMP say they will work with Therrien on guidelines for using facial-recognition technology within the limits of existing laws.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2020.