Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Fed intends to introduce facial recognition system for Canadian passport holders: report

Despite little evidence of identity fraud in Canada, Canada will set up a facial recognition system within the next two years that will include the faces of 25 million Canadian passport holders compiled in a database.

According to documents obtained by Blacklock’s reporter, “the department must have facial recognition system support capabilities after October 2023,” the Department for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) wrote in a notice titled “Facial Recognition Solutions”. . Where the first notice was given. The Epoch Times has not independently looked at the documents.

The notice reportedly states that Canadians applying for passports are deemed to have agreed to have their photographs stored in a federal database. “Applicants consent to the use of their photographs for confirmation of identity through the Passport Program’s facial recognition system,” it wrote.

According to Blacklock, the department says that a facial recognition system will serve as an effective and accurate tool for its passport program, particularly “in authenticating the identity of each adult passport applicant that helps ensure that the applicant is who they say they are.”

But a 2020 “Evaluation of the Passport Program” by the IRCC’s Research and Evaluation arm found that there are not many confirmed cases of identity fraud in the Canadian passport system. Between the period 2014 and 2018, auditors found an average of 57 cases per year.

“While the number of confirmed cases of identity fraud is small, it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which there is undetected fraud,” the assessment read.

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The auditors noted that the technology for facial recognition systems, once implemented, has the potential to apply a “digital biometric template to the applicant’s photograph” and more than 45 million adult applicants to verify its identity. Compares this to a database of photos.

However, he also commented that the program was “not well integrated with the passport issuance system” to date, even though it has been the subject of study since 2016 when it was launched as a pilot project.

The debate over the dichotomy of facial recognition in privacy and security continues. In a 2013 report titled “Automated Facial Recognition in the Public and Private Sectors”, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner questioned whether “should the loss of privacy be in proportion to the benefit gained?”

“For now, many people are accepting facial recognition to be used for public safety and security purposes,” the report said.

“However, the fear is that the technology will be misused to advance governments’ other goals, such as curbing dissent.”

“Given these implications, tighter controls and increased transparency are needed to ensure that the use of facial recognition is consistent with our privacy laws and our common understanding of what is socially acceptable.”


Isaac is a reporter based in Toronto.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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