Groups Urge Government to Ban Use of Facial Recognition Technology

    Civil Liberty Groups call facial recognition technology "highly problematic," given its lack of accuracy and invasive nature, and say it poses a threat to Canadians' fundamental rights. Tell the minister that the technology cannot be considered safe for use in Canada.


    Dozens of groups and individuals working to protect privacy, human rights and civil liberties want the Trudeau government to ban the use of facial-recognition surveillance by federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies.

    In an open letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, they call the technology "highly problematic," given its lack of accuracy and invasive nature, and say it poses a threat to Canadians' fundamental rights.

    They tell the minister that in the absence of meaningful policy or regulation governing facial recognition, it cannot be considered safe for use in Canada.

    The letter is signed by Tim McSorley, national co-ordinator of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and Laura Tribe, executive director of Open Media, who are spearheading the campaign.

    It is endorsed by 29 other prominent groups including Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association and Privacy International, as well as 46 academics, researchers, lawyers and other civil society members.

    The letter also calls on the government to initiate a meaningful, public consultation on all aspects of facial-recognition technology in Canada and to establish clear, transparent policies and laws regulating its use, including reforms to federal privacy law.

     

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