Candid facial-recognition cameras to scan for terrorists at border

OTTAWA - Canada's border agency plans to compare images of people arriving in the country with photographs of suspects on watchlists to keep out alleged terrorists and other criminals.

See Full Article

The federal privacy watchdog has cautioned the agency that the scheme could ensnare the wrong travellers, resulting in unwarranted scrutiny for some people at the border.

The Canada Border Services Agency wants to see how well the facial-recognition technology works at various locations and under specific lighting and crowd-movement conditions.

The border agency's science and engineering directorate has quietly been working with the University of Quebec and other partners to gauge the ability of devices to extract needed information from video footage.

The initiative is among the latest federal efforts to use biometric tools that focus on personal characteristics - such as fingerprints, an iris or the contours of one's face - to identify people in the name of security.

In his recently released annual report, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says his office provided advice on the potential pitfalls, including the possibility of "false positives" that could result in unnecessary secondary screening for travellers.

The office also urged the border agency to assess the risks of using such technology, including issues that might arise during testing phases.

The border agency declined to make anyone available to discuss the project. In written answers, the agency said it continues to work with the commissioner to "ensure that privacy implications are appropriately addressed."

The agency also noted that while it plans to test the technology in an "operational context," no trials involving actual travellers have yet taken place.

The surveillance tool could eventually be in place at border points and international airports across Canada.

According to the commissioner's office, for facial recognition to be successful there needs to be a quality digital image of an individual's face, a database of images of identified individuals and facial-recognition software that will accurately find a match between the two.

Technical findings published by the federal border agency indicate researchers have assessed the technique's use in settings such as an interview counter, hallway, turnstile, and waiting and baggage-claim areas.

One thread of the research looked at a system's ability to match images of people in a video stream with photos of "persons of interest."

The Calgary police service is said to be the first force in Canada to use the technology for solving crimes.

Passport Canada has been using facial recognition for years to scrutinize photos and prevent the same person from holding multiple passports under different names. The privacy commissioner has made several recommendations about the initiative, saying all of the data in the system should be protected through encryption.

"We are not yet at the point where we can take pictures of people on the street with our smartphones, identify them, and gain access to information about them," said a March 2013 report published by the commissioner's office.

"However, this reality may not be too far off and we can only imagine what that will do to our interactions, relationships, and how we conduct our lives."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Crews save homes from fire in California canyons

    World News CTV News
    Photos Source
  • Jared Kushner's lawyer reveals private email strategy to prankster

    World News CTV News
    Jared Kushner’s lawyer in the scandal involving his use of a private email address has revealed part of the strategy he is employing with his client, in an email exchange with a prankster who posed as Kushner. Source
  • Stunning lawsuit against 'Big Coffee' could lead to cancer warning labels in California [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A future cup of coffee in California could give you jitters before you even take a sip. A non-profit group wants coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers to post ominous warnings about a cancer-causing chemical stewing in every brew and has been presenting evidence in a Los Angeles courtroom to make its case. Source
  • Televangelist David Mainse, host of '100 Huntley Street', dies at 81

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian televangelist David Mainse, who hosted “100 Huntley Street,” has died at age 81. The Burlington, Ont.-based Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., which Mainse founded, said the reverend died after a battle with MDS leukemia. Source
  • Macron calls on Europe to reject isolationism, for EU to share a military force

    World News CBC News
    Calling Europe slow, weak and ineffective, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said the EU should embrace a joint budget, shared military force and harmonized taxes to stay globally relevant. "At the beginning of the next decade, Europe must have a joint intervention force, a common defence budget and a joint doctrine for action," said Macron. Source
  • Full federal court to hear ’Making a Murderer’ appeal

    World News Toronto Sun
    MADISON, Wis. — A federal appeals court will consider arguments Tuesday over whether detectives tricked a Wisconsin inmate featured in the “Making a Murderer” series into confessing and whether he should go free in a case that puts police practices in the spotlight. Source
  • Toronto cop who Tasered and stomped on suspect appears before disciplinary hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A Toronto police sergeant who stomped on and repeatedly Tasered a man during arrest has made his first appearance at a disciplinary hearing. Sgt. Eduardo Miranda was charged with unlawful or unnecessary use of authority and discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act after a civilian police oversight agency investigation. Source
  • Bangladesh plans separate shelters for Rohingya children

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is planning to build separate shelters for 6,000 Rohingya Muslim children who entered the country without parents to escape violence in neighbouring Myanmar, a government official said Tuesday. Children make up about 60 per cent of the estimated 480,000 Rohingya Muslims who have poured into Bangladesh over the last four weeks to flee persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Source
  • Former B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong enters Liberal leadership race

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia's former finance minister Mike de Jong has announced his bid for the provincial Liberal leadership, joining a race that already includes two other past cabinet ministers and the former mayors of B.C. Source
  • Trump to visit Puerto Rico next Tuesday

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he'll visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday. Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. Source