Facial recognition technology not being used by Regina police

The Regina Police Service says they do not use, endorse or have acquired a facial recognition app named Clearview AI.

Recently, the software has been scrutinized by critics as an invasion of privacy since it uses artificial intelligence to match people’s photos with a collection containing billions of images from social media and other corners of the internet.

On Thursday, there were a number of police services and companies that admitted to acquiring and using the technology including the RCMP.

Evan Bray, chief of police for Regina Police, said RPS officers are always doing their own research to find new tools and tech to help with investigations.

“If there are some Regina Police Service emails that are on the database of this company, it is very likely that our officers had reached out to the company or at least did some fact finding to try and find out a little more about it,” explained Bray.

“But again, it’s not a piece of technology or software we have bought, and it’s not something that our police service uses.”

While it’s something Regina Police haven’t bought, Bray admitted it’s something they could use down the road.

“I understand right now a lot of the discussion is around privacy and the importance of that, and that’s a healthy discussion to have,” he stated. “We at the Regina Police Service would never do something to be offside with that.”

Bray added it’s possible Regina Police officers or staff may have reached out to the company to find out more information about the product and that emails may be in the company’s database. However he said no proposals have come forward.

If a business case was to be presented and was endorsed by RPS, it would become part of a city budget proposal and would be public.

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