OPP confirms use of controversial Clearview AI facial recognition tool

The police force began using the technology in December

Clearview AI website

The Ontario Provincial Police is the latest police service in Canada to admit that its officers used the controversial Clearview AI technology.

The officers used the technology in cases that involved child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and cyber crime. They had used the technology through a free online trial version.

By using the technology, the OPP were able to identify and charge an individual with child pornography-related offences. Further, the tool was tested by members of the force entering their own images to assess the viability of the software.

“The use of technology to identify sexually exploited children and human trafficking victims is essential in our fight of these horrible crimes,” the OPP said in a statement.

This comes two days after the RCMP admitted to using the technology as well. The RCMP said it used Clearview AI in 15 child exploitation investigations in the last four months. Further, the technology helped identify and rescue two children.

Controversy around Clearview AI began when the New York Times revealed that numerous police services in North America were using the facial recognition technology.

The New York-based company uses images scraped from social media and other websites to cross-reference uploaded images of people. The system reportedly has three billion photos on its database.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the provincial commissioners in B.C., Alberta and Quebec have opened up an investigation into the technology.

Source: Global News