The RCMP's use of a controversial, third party facial recognition technology was a serious violation of Canada's privacy laws, says a new investigation.
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien tabled a report to Parliament Thursday morning after investigating the national police force's use of the software from U.S.-based Clearview AI.
He ruled that by using this third party's tools, the RCMP violated the section of the Privacy Act that specifies that no personal information can be collected by a government institution "unless it relates directly to an operating program or activity of the institution."
"The use of facial recognition technology by the RCMP to search through massive repositories of Canadians who are innocent of any suspicion of crime presents a serious violation of privacy," Therrien found.
"A government institution cannot collect personal information from a third party agent if that third party agent collected the information unlawfully."