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LETTER: Controversy over facial-recognition technology marks 'new low' for Liberals

'There is no guarantee that the stored faces and information will not be disseminated elsewhere,' says reader
2021-07-19 Facial recognition
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The Liberal Party of Canada, by its apparently ‘negligent’ use of facial-recognition technology and disregard for financing laws as the WE Charity scandal proves, shows it takes a ‘liberal’ view of our laws.

Having been cited for alleged misuse of facial-recognition technology by the Opposition parties and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), the governing party claims that its collection of personal information and voters’ faces is deleted shortly after voter registration.

Therein lies the problem, as people like NDP MP Charlie Angus and even the CCLA point out: Jumio, the American company hired to gather voter information during party candidacy elections, is a data miner  a company that gathers personal information and stores it in their servers. There is no guarantee that the stored faces and information will not be disseminated elsewhere.  

This constitutes a new low for the current government: a regime that does not care about the consequences of, say, legal scandals, legalized narcotics, or unfairly acquired personal information; to say nothing about the ethics of needlessly hiring a foreign company or potentially hoarding people’s information against their will.

The Opposition called on federal privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, to investigate and so will B.C’s Michael McEvoy.

What makes facial-recognition technology so dangerous is that it works like fingerprinting, forming a digital impression of a person’s face gleaned from many databases, including security recordings.

Cadillac Fairview, a property manager that owns shopping malls like the Eaton Centre, was recently investigated for storing thousands of people’s faces in a database of shoppers. The matter was referred to the courts for settlement.

This betrayal of trust by the Liberal Party should be noted by Canadians before the next election.

Christopher Mansour