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Information and Privacy Commissioner to host webcast on surveillance tech and police

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario is encouraging everyone to register for its free webcast on law enforcement and surveillance technologies, which will be held on Jan. 28, Data Privacy Day, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

More and more, law enforcement agencies have been relying on body-worn cameras, automated license plate recognition, facial recognition and other AI-based and biometric-based technologies to assist them in conducting policing functions and in improving the efficiency of their operations. However, if not accompanied by certain governance frameworks, these surveillance technologies can breach Canadians’ privacy rights and other fundamental rights, said IPC Ontario.

The webcast will explore how the use of surveillance technologies by law enforcement agencies can give rise to certain opportunities and dangers, and why such use should meet the agencies’ goals while still respecting human rights and civil liberties. The discussion will go over the principles of necessity, transparency and accountability and will explain how rules may be set in place to safeguard personal information and to ensure effective oversight. The discussion will also explore the shift in the public’s perception of these technologies and the growing demand for accountability among police.

The webcast will include a panel discussion attended by Raj Dhir, executive director/chief legal officer at the Ontario Human Rights Commission; Colin Freeze, reporter at the Globe and Mail; Stephen McCammon, legal counsel at IPC Ontario; Alana Saulnier, assistant professor at Lakehead University; Colin Stairs, chief information officer at the Toronto Police Service; and Chris Parsons, senior research associate at Citizen Lab.

Parsons will also be one of the speakers, alongside Ron Kruzeniski, Saskatchewan’s information and privacy commissioner.

Patricia Kosseim, commissioner of IPC Ontario, will host the webcast, deliver the introductory remarks and moderate the panel discussion and the audience question-and-answer session. Sherry Liang, assistant commissioner of IPC Ontario, will give the concluding remarks.

Interested individuals may register for “IPC Privacy Day Webcast: Law Enforcement and Surveillance Technologies” here.

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