In Canada, police investigate Royal Mounted Police use of facial recognition

by bold-lichterman

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced Friday that it has launched an investigation into the federal police use of facial recognition technology from the US company Clearview AI. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) “Having acknowledged that it uses Clearview technology, the Office of the Commissioner is launching an investigation into this matter under the terms of the law on the protection of personal information”, explained the instance in a statement posted on its site. On Thursday, the RCMP confirmed “ for the sake of transparency ” have started using Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology.

We recognize that the protection of personal information is essential and is a reasonable expectation of Canadians, yet a balance must be struck between it and the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations and ensure security. Canadians, including the most vulnerable ”, explained the RCMP. The technology is used ” for about four months for the investigation of cases of Internet sexual exploitation of children ” by the RCMP’s National Center against Child Exploitation (CNCEE), according to a statement. The center used technology “In 15 cases, thus allowing him to identify and save two children”.

“Personal information without consent”

Last week, the Office of the Commissioner announced the opening of an investigation into Clearview after ” numerous media reports raising questions and concerns ” on the compilation and use by the company of ” personal information without consent ”. Facial recognition is used more and more by police forces and customs officers around the world, but also to “identify” people on social networks or unlock smartphones and cars.

The New York Times in January devoted a survey to the American startup Clearview AI explaining that the latter has developed a tool that has enabled it to create a database, from the copy of more than 3 billion images on social networks , without the consent of their owners. More than six hundred police departments have started using the tool, according to the daily.

Also in Europe, London police announced at the end of January that they would begin using facial recognition in targeted locations to identify perpetrators of serious crimes, with a system provided by the Japanese group NEC.