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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd July 2011
Info & Privacy Commissioner-BC
Privacy Commissioner Confirms Investigation of ICBC's use of Facial Recognition Technology

British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's (ICBC) use of facial recognition technology to ensure that it complies with privacy law.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's investigation comes in the wake of ICBC
offering its facial recognition technology to assist police in identifying individuals subject to an investigation into possible criminal activity during the Stanley Cup riot.

The photograph of every citizen in BC who possesses a driver's licence is stored in ICBC's data base. Using facial recognition technology, the photo of any individual can be entered into the system to determine whether it matches an existing one in the data base. ICBC has said it will support a police investigation by confirming if there is a match - but will not disclose personal information until the police obtain a subpoena, warrant or order.

"There is a fine balance to be struck in weighing a citizen's privacy interests and the use of personal information for law enforcement," said Commissioner enham. "This balancing of interests must be undertaken within the confines of existing law."

The Commissioner will investigate whether ICBC's use of facial recognition technology complies with its obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, including disclosures of personal
information to the police that may occur.

ICBC has committed to co-operate fully with the Commissioner's investigation.

The Commissioner will release a public report when the investigation is complete.
RCMP Unlawful breach of Right to Privacy
Comment by Sheldon Davidson on 25th July 2011
The RCMP Unlawful breach of Right to Privacy has been going on for years.

A really good example is barlink. Barlink (formerly barwatch) is an organization with unknown roots but is heavily involved with the RCMP.

Nightclubs and bars across Canada now require a scan of your Drivers license upon admission to the venue. When they scan your drivers license they will tell you a bold face lie about how the scan of your ID will be used.

Here are possible implications of going to a bar/pub/nightclub with a barlink system (taken from hack canada, link at the bottom)

"Here are some plausable potential abuses of the information in the BarWatch database:

When the auto insurance companies start buying this data from BarWatch to see how often you visit the bar what do you think is going to happen to your already inflated insurance rates?

Warrant out for your arrest? Too many traffic tickets? I'm sure the alarm bells will sound at the nearest police station as soon as your ID is scanned into BarWatch. The Police can just swing by to pick you up.

A cop stops you and it indicates on his Mobile Data Terminal that you were scanned into the BarWatch system at a bar nearby 4 hours ago. Step out of the car please...

Try getting affordable life insurance when they can check with BarWatch to see how often you go out drinking.

Criminals break into the BarWatch database and begin creating duplicate ID's from the images of your ID which are stored on the BarWatch system. With those ID cards they can then easily open bank accounts, get credit cards, rent cars and other equipment, all in your name and you will be held responsible by authorities.

Prospective employers check with BarWatch before hiring you to see how you spend your off-hours.
Alternative lifestyle? Do you want just anyone finding out about the stripper bars or gay clubs you've been going to? Employers? Insurance companies? Your family? BarWatch knows all your secrets."


Yes they can deny you admission if you refuse to give them your ID. This is why I boycott all barlink pubs, bars and nightclubs.
Comment by MaggieJo on 23rd July 2011
At least last time 'round I finally hosted a "nice" photo op for my driver's license where I didn't look like a felon on the run for a change!

That being said... I'm almost due for another pic (my current DL photo is to expire. The current DL pic hosts me in very short hair; while currently my hair is quite long...and I'"aged" a bit since then).

I feel confident that Commisioner Denham will meticulously review the fine line between privacy issues and law enforcement. Every Corporation has a duty to assist Law Enforcement; while remaining in keeping with Citizen's privacy interests. Corporations normally have practices in place for situations such as this; along with their own Legal Departments to assist with these types of enquiries.

'Will be interesting to find how it all fairs out.
What police can identify on face recognition photos
Comment by c. sandecki on 22nd July 2011
Here's a sample of how Vancouver police are identifying Stanley Cup rioters:

Once you have the picture, double click anywhere in the crowd as many times as you like until the faces become clear. you can move the crowd from
left to right by moving the arrows either left or right or up and down to wander through them. To get back to the small whole picture, hit view all.

This is the Vancouver crowd before the riot. Put your cursor anywhere in the crowd and double-click. Keep double clicking and see what happens. This is a great tool for law enforcement.

This is the photo taken by Port Moody photographer Ronnie Miranda that appeared in Tri-City News last Friday (24-June).

When you open this up, check the left hand side where you can upsize the photo, and click on the Yellow print "view with GigaTag".

You can see - perfectly - the faces of every single individual - and there were thousands! ˇ edit ˇ del