Facial recognition use by Liberals raises issues, says B.C.'s privacy commissioner

Identity technology scrutiny

British Columbia's information and privacy commissioner says he's considering launching an investigation into the use of facial recognition technology by the Liberal Party of Canada.

Michael McEvoy says he is reviewing a request the Canadian Civil Liberties Association made to the federal Liberals to stop using facial recognition technology as part of its process to select candidates in the next federal election.

He says his office will examine the association's call to determine if there are B.C. connections that could warrant further investigation under the province's privacy laws.

McEvoy says B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has privacy laws ensuring the activities of political parties are subject to independent oversight, including the use of identity technology.

A letter sent Wednesday to the Liberal party by the civil liberties association says using facial recognition technology to allow its members to vote online during the pandemic is laudable for some democratic goals, but at this time is the wrong tool for Canada.

Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley has said the party consulted with the federal privacy commissioner before deciding to use the technology.

More BC News