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Privacy bill fails to address dangers of facial recognition technology: coalition

OTTAWA — A coalition pushing for better regulation of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technologies says proposed federal privacy legislation is in “dire need of significant amendments.”

In a letter today to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, the Right2YourFace Coalition warns the use of facial recognition technology threatens human rights, equity principles and fundamental freedoms including the right to privacy.

Facial recognition technology can allow an image of a person’s face to be matched against a database of photos with the aim of identifying the individual.

The coalition says the technology can prompt biased or flawed results, creating a risk of false identifications.

The letter is signed by representatives of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, the Privacy and Access Council of Canada and several others. 

The coalition says Bill C-27, now before Parliament, fails to address the harms posed by facial recognition tools as businesses and government agencies adopt artificial intelligence systems at an increasingly rapid pace.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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