ICBC facial recognition investigated

B.C’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating ICBC’s use of facial recognition technology to ensure that it complies with privacy law.

  • Jul. 29, 2011 7:00 p.m.

B.C’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating ICBC’s 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 B.C. who has a driver’s licence is stored in ICBC’s data base. Using facial recognition technology, the photo can be entered into the system to determine if 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.

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.