ICBC is offering its facial recognition technology to the Vancouver Police Department to help identify those who committed crimes during the Stanley Cup riot.
That seems mighty helpful, and useful.
And given the overwhelming embarrassment, disgust and anger over the riot, public sentiment might support such a practice.
And given the extent of damage to vehicles and other property caused during the riot, this technology could help curb increasing premiums due to the number of claims resulting from it, and make those responsible, pay.
But ICBC should be seeking that retribution, not VPD.
This technology is available to ICBC to guard against fraud.
Why don’t Vancouver police have their own facial recognition software?
Because being able to scan the face of every Henrik, Daniel and Roberta violates the basic rights and freedoms afforded Canadians in the charter.
You can’t treat everyone like a criminal.
In this country, we have freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.
We have freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly.
Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
With ICBC’s offer, police would be able to scan visible faces in every photo of the riot it collects, and forever be able to trace the identity of each one. They have already received a million images and thousands of videos.
Being flagged as associated with the riot could affect how you are treated by police in future or your ability to travel, or show in criminal record checks for volunteer positions, even if you were guilty of nothing more than failing to exit the riot zone quickly enough or were just taking pictures.
We don’t live in a police state, and we don’t want to.
– The News