Jul 13, 2020

By Jeremy Logan

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A Quebec photographer wants a judge to order the RCMP to destroy all of the images of Canadians it obtained through a controversial facial-recognition tool.

Ha Vi Doan’s proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Federal Court seeks unspecified damages for her and other Canadians whose photos were allegedly part of a massive database compiled by U.S. firm Clearview AI and used by the Mounties.

Clearview AI’s technology worries many privacy advocates because it allows for the collection of huge numbers of images from multiple sources with the aim of helping police forces, financial institutions and other clients identify individuals.

The federal privacy commissioner said this month the company will stop offering its facial-recognition services in Canada in response to an investigation by the commissioner and three provincial counterparts.

Clearview’s retreat includes an indefinite suspension of the company’s contract with the RCMP, its last remaining client in Canada.

The Mounties said in February that their National Child Exploitation Crime Centre had two licences for the Clearview AI application and had used it in 15 cases, resulting in the identification and rescue of two children.

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