Facial recognition and federal government developments - Retail Council of Canada
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Facial recognition and federal government developments

March 25, 2021

Retailers may be interested to know that the federal Parliament’s Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) recently put “The Use and Impact of Facial Recognition Technology” on its agenda for study/activity.

It makes sense that Parliament is taking a closer look at facial recognition, especially given two recent adverse findings published by the federal privacy Commissioner (OPC) within the past year and the November 2020 introduction of significant proposed privacy reforms in the form of Bill C-11, the proposed new Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA). One of the OPC findings, Clearview AI, involved uploaded photos searched against a database of billions of images by law enforcement clients. The other set of findings, Cadillac Fairview, dealt with pattern detection technology called anonymous video analytics (AVA) that was using face data from mall passers-by gathered through a mall directory.

RCC is now monitoring facial recognition discussions federally. For context, technologies commonly termed “facial recognition” used by retailers have included loss prevention and payments.

The RCC Privacy Committee is a practitioner community for RCC members navigating data privacy issues. The Committee also helps guide RCC’s engagement with policymakers across Canada.

For questions or more information contact

Kate Skipton
Senior Policy Analyst, Government Relations
416 467-3744