If you want to send this letter to more members of your city council, please copy the letter above (on Step 2) and send it directly to your city councillors and mayor. You can usually find their contact information on your local city council's website.
Editing your letter will make it far more effective. Please add a personal message about why this issue is important to you in your own words, and use the information below to add any relevant points you’d like.
Four cities in the U.S. have already banned facial recognition1:
- San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition by police and city government agencies.
- Somerville, Massachusetts voted in a new law forbidding city agencies, including police, from using face recognition technology.
- Oakland's City Council unanimously voted to ban the use of facial recognition technologies by local government agencies.
- The City Council of Berkeley, California has banned all use of biometric facial recognition technology by government agencies.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) regulates the use of personal information by private enterprises. The Privacy Act does the same for government. But neither of these Acts specifically mention biometric data such as facial recognition. The unregulated environment in which facial recognition is being deployed means that there is no oversight, no accountability, and no transparency for people in Canada.2
Several police services, including Calgary and Toronto, have already been using facial recognition programs. Several other police services, including Montreal and Halifax, refuse to confirm or deny whether they are using facial recognition.3 And multiple police forces in cities including Edmonton and Peel have admitted to having used the controversial Clearview facial recognition app, without it being approved by department heads.4,5
Over 10,000 people in Canada have already signed a petition demanding an immediate moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and other government agencies, as well as an urgent reform of the Privacy Act and PIPEDA via a full and transparent public consultation.