Clearview AI: When can companies use facial recognition data?

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Can companies use facial recognition data in 2020? EU should follow Canadian’ example.


From the start of 2018, the EU invested more money in AI technologies. Officials of European commission believe that AI will take over the world in the next decade and Europe should be ready for this. That’s why the European Commission increased the investments in AI technologies by 70%. In the 2018-2020 period, the EU will invest more than 1.5 billion euros. Canada and the US already ahead of the EU in terms of AI technologies and there are many companies that work on next-level AI stuff in Canada. Investments are good and we should follow the industrial developments but what about the data? What about the facial recognition systems that AI technologies use?

When Companies can use facial recognition in Canada

With the Digital Charter in place, privacy experts are expecting stricter guidelines and policies concerning the use of facial recognition systems, and other sources of biometric data. Although there is a ban on the use of facial recognition systems in many places in the US, the reported use of such technology among several Canadian organizations are causing the public to question Canada’s stand on the matter.

The use of facial recognition technology makes each individual easily identifiable. And with the growing number of AI cameras and technology everywhere, even the most private individuals can be identified in seconds, even without the person’s knowledge. The idea of such sophisticated technology both pose so much promise and risk to regular life.

Canada has allowed local businesses to use AI technologies but only limited to facial recognition systems. Facial recognition systems were limited to online platforms. iGaming industry was first to take advantage of facial recognition systems. Online casino venues installed the facial recognition system to prevent stealing funds or identity theft. When gamers play roulette online in Canada, they will be able to enable facial recognition systems. It’s a voluntary system and each gamer has a right to enable or disable. In the end, the responsibility will be on the gamer himself/herself. Enabling the facial recognition system is very easy on Canadian casinos. As a gamer, your attention goes to roulette, poker, and other casino games and you should not worry about managing funds or thinking about hackers. That’s why local casinos have implemented facial recognition to prevent future cases and gamers can fully focus on games and enjoy the moment. Facial scan successfully prevented the cases of identity theft and a number of cases lowered since then.

Canadian companies are already using facial recognition technology. What the Canadian government must do now is clearly define how companies can use AI, and at the same time, implement measures protecting the public.

Is Facial Recognition the Future of Tech Industry

Claiming that facial recognition technology is the future of Canada’s tech industry is such a bold statement to make. The AI sector is indeed a significant component of the nation’s thriving tech industry, but it is not the sole driver.

Yes, there are several AI research and development laboratories and startups housed within the Canadian digital economy, and they are growing at impressive rates. However, there are still huge concerns regarding threats the technology poses to privacy and cybersecurity.

According to Bank of America, the future of tech will focus on combating cybercrimes in all its forms. The coming years will see a rise in spending focused on cyber protection technology and measures.

How to Protect Privacy in an AI-Driven Era

Protecting privacy in an AI-driven era calls for the participation and action of the Canadian government. It sounds simple, but requires a lot of policy-making and the enforcement of privacy regulations that must focus on maintaining the balance between protecting Canadians and their privacy, and fostering growth within the economy.

Lawmakers must create regulations designed to protect individuals from misuse of their personal information obtained using AI, without restricting technology development and innovation.

Hackers could steal huge data of AI company

Clearview AI is a startup company currently surrounded by lots of controversies. As a provider of facial recognition software to businesses and law enforcement agencies, the company’s services seem questionable as they are known to provide access to billions of images of individuals. This type of service makes their line of work highly invasive of individual privacy and anonymity.

In recent weeks, unflattering headlines regarding the company have been posted all over the internet, raising serious privacy concerns regarding the use of facial recognition technology.

Clearview AI recently informed the public that hackers stole sensitive information containing their client list. The said list included information on over 2,000 enforcement agencies, even those from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the US Department of Justice.

Marketed as a new tool poised to help law enforcers identify crime victims and their perpetrators, it also received scrutiny as it first rolled out in 2019, as concerns on the system’s unequal identification of minorities compared to whites came to light.

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