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Tech, human rights groups call on Ottawa to take action on facial recognition, AI

OTTAWA — A group of technology and human rights organizations are calling on the federal government to take immediate action to address concerns around artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology.

In an open letter to the ministers of privacy and industry, the group asks for a moratorium on facial recognition technology by police services and other Canadian industries until regulations are created and implemented.

They say the regulatory framework should define acceptable and unacceptable uses of facial recognition technology while protecting people against mass surveillance by instituting clear penalties for violations by police.

The group wants companies in the private sector to be restricted from requiring biometric info as a condition of service and from capturing images of Canadians from the internet or public spaces for use in facial recognition and AI technology.

The letter’s signatories include the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Commission and the Privacy and Access Council of Canada.

They say their recommendations were drawn from a recent report released by a federal committee whose findings they say the government has failed to act on.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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