The Canadian Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics publishes ‘Facial Recognition Technology and the Growing Power of Artificial Intelligence’

October 9, 2022 |

On 4 October 2022 the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics published a report, ‘Facial Recognition Technology and the Growing Power of Artificial Intelligence’.

The report explores:

  • the benefits and concerns associated with facial recognition technology,
  • the use of facial recognition by police forces,
  • misidentification and algorithmic bias.
  • regulations on facial recognition and artificial intelligence

The Committee’s recommendations include:

  • defining in appropriate legislation the acceptable uses of FRT or other algorithmic technologies and prohibit other uses, including mass surveillance;
  • implementing the right to erasure by requiring service providers, social media platforms, and other online entities operating in Canada to delete all users’ personal information after a set period following users’ termination of use;
  • implementing an opt-in-only requirement for the collection of biometric information by private sector entities and prohibit such entities from making the provision of goods or services contingent on providing biometric information;
  • strengthening the ability of the Privacy Commissioner to levy meaningful penalties on government institutions and private entities whose use of FRT violates the Privacy Act 1985 (‘the Privacy Act’) or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act 2000 (‘PIPEDA’) to deter future abuse of the technology;
  • amending the Privacy Act and the PIPEDA to prohibit the practice of capturing images of Canadians from the internet or public spaces for the purpose of populating FRT databases or AI algorithms; and
  • ensuring that appropriate privacy protections are put in place to mitigate risks to individuals, including measures addressing accuracy, retention, and transparency in facial recognition initiatives, as well as a comprehensive strategy around informed consent by Canadians for the use of their private information.

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