Privacy commissioners to investigate facial recognition technology amid police use
EDMONTON -- A number of privacy commissioners across Canada are launching a joint investigation into the use of facial recognition software in law enforcement as Edmonton police says it intends to use the technology.
Earlier this month, Toronto's police chief learned some of his officers had been using Clearview AI — a facial recognition software that had been under scrutiny for privacy concerns — for months.
Last month, the New York Times reported more than 600 law enforcement agencies have been using Clearview AI.
The Edmonton Police Service said the facial recognition software it intends to use will follow privacy laws.
Informatics Division Supt. Warren Driechel said the software will take images obtained during criminal investigations and compare them to official records, like mugshots, to help identify suspects.
"We are not just using this technology or using facial recognition to go out and look at the general open source information that's out there," Driechel said Wednesday.
EPS is not using AI yet and remains in talks with the technology company.
The federal, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec privacy commissioners will investigate whether AI software in policing is in compliance with Canadian privacy laws.
With files from CTV News Toronto