Federal government calls for dismissal of planned proceedings against RCMP through facial recognition tools


The federal government has asked judges to dismiss Quebec’s photographer’s bid for the approval of a class action involving perhaps millions of people over the use of RCMP’s controversial facial recognition tools.

In a federal court filing, a government lawyer said Havidan could not claim that she had suffered “all sorts of harm” as a result of a national police deal with the U.S. company Clearview AI. increase.

The class action proposed by Doan seeks unspecified damages from her and other Canadians. Their photos and related information were allegedly part of a large database edited by Clearview AI and used under the Mountains license.

Clearview AI’s technology is closely monitored as it requires the collection of huge numbers of images from a variety of sources in order to enable police, financial institutions, and other clients to identify individuals from their photographs. increase.

In a February 2021 report, Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Terien and three state counterparts said that a New York-based company scraped images of billions of people from across the Internet. He said he clearly violated his right to privacy.

Last June, Therrien discovered that RCMP violated the law by collecting personal information using Clearview AI software.

The Privacy Commissioner found that RCMP used Clearview to perform 521 searches on paid and trial user accounts from October 2019 to July 2020.

“If there is no evidence that the RCMP conducted these investigations and seizures under legitimate authority, the investigation and seizure would probably be unreasonable,” Doan argues in a court filing.

Therrien concluded that RCMP accessed Canadian images from Clearview AI in the process of its work.

Mounties publicly states that the military has used the company’s technology only in a limited way, primarily to identify, identify and rescue children who are victims of online sexual abuse.

However, a Privacy Commissioner survey found that it did not fully explain most of the searches performed by RCMP.

A federal lawyer said in a court filing that the use of Clearview helped RCMP identify and identify the victims of three children. Other uses include searching for the required fugitive and testing the application using either police officer images, modified photos of American celebrities, or media images of missing persons. It was.

Clearview AI stopped providing services in Canada on July 6, 2020.

The lesson procedure proposed by Doan stated that RCMP’s services included “massive infringement of the privacy of Canadian residents and citizens” and piracy, but RCMP has become a Clearview AI client. increase.

Doan is passionate about photography, taking pictures of himself and others and posting quite a few on his website and online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Filing said.

She claimed her “personal biometrics” and the photos were collected, copied, duplicated, preserved, or used by Clearview without her knowledge and consent.

The class action proceedings are against Canadians whose images are in the Clearview AI database and those who hold the copyright and moral rights of the photographs.

In response to a database search involving Canadian residents, RCMP is seeking a court order to destroy all documents and information from Clearview.

A federal lawyer said in a filing that Doan had obtained confirmation from Clearview that she had identified seven different images of her from the Internet as of July 10, 2020. These seem to be from her Instagram and Twitter accounts, her commercial website, and two unrelated sources.

“For Google, Facebook, Instagram, Clearview, and phonebook, even if you access public databases and search engines, you will find information regardless of whether it was actually there, how it was, or what it was. We are not responsible for everyone involved. It has been accessed, “said the federal government submission.

According to government lawyers, Doan does not claim that RCMP actually saw a single photo of her, or even a clear view, a copy, let alone a copy.

“Her case presupposes the idea that this fact is not important. It is a problem. If the defendant does not have the material fact to look for, see or copy the information related to the plaintiff. Talking about infringement or causality of her rights is an illusion, “said the federal application.

“Sure, plaintiffs do not claim (and could not) claim that she has suffered any kind of harm.”

Jim Bron Skill

Canadian press

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