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Canadian privacy advocates say bill prizes profit over biometrics protections

Canadian privacy advocates say bill prizes profit over biometrics protections
 

Civil liberty advocates in Canada have taken aim at proposed consumer privacy protection legislation, which has been making its way through Parliament since its first reading in June 2022, for being too vague.

As written, according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Parliament would be giving organizations – primarily businesses – a blank check in critical activity involving facial recognition.

Bill C-27 is being opposed by the Right2YourFace Coalition, which includes the CCLA, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and Access Council of Canada. The Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act are part of Bill C-27. It’s not a new battle.

The CCLA says the bill “does not have clear definitions and contains too many exemptions that can leave facial recognition unregulated.”

Biometric identifiers are not explicitly defined as sensitive data, according to the group. And an exemption from the law for “legitimate business purposes” will mean many consumers will have no protection from privacy violations.

There are many requirements of people involved with so-called high-impact biometric surveillance systems, but defining those systems is left to future government regulation without a timeline.

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