Nothing To See Here


Minister for Justice Helen McEntee The Minister for Justice has said the introduction of facial recognition technology in criminal investigations “is not about mass surveillance”

This morning.

Via RTÉ News:

The Minister for Justice has said the introduction of legislation to enable gardaí to use facial recognition technology (FRT) in criminal investigations “is not about mass surveillance.”

Helen Mc Entee said that there will be safeguards and codes of practice in place to comply with GDPR and protect people’s individual privacy.

However, the minister told rank and file gardaí at their annual conference in Westport this morning, that technology is involved in “a huge amount of criminal activity” and gardaí need to have the resources to deal with this effectively.

She said gardaí spend “thousands of hours trawling through CCTV footage” and in the investigation of certain crimes, such as child abduction, child sexual abuse and murder investigations, “time is of the essence.”


Facial recognition technology ‘not about mass surveillance’ – McEntee (RTE)



Via The Irish Council for Civil Liberties:

‘ICCL strongly opposes the use of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) for law enforcement and in public spaces. In our submission to the Oireachtas on the Garda Digital Recordings Bill ICCL has already called for a ban on the police use of FRT.

‘This is because of the extreme risk to rights posed by FRT. A person’s face is permanently and irrevocably linked to a person’s identity. Our position aligns with a wider European movement to ban the use of FRT by law enforcement.

‘We would be particularly concerned about the move to authorise FRT for An Garda Síochana given their poor record on data protection.

‘Additionally, neither An Garda Síochána or the Department of Justice have shown any demonstration that using FRT is either necessary or proportionate – a legal requirement under human rights law.

‘FRT and other biometric surveillance tools enable mass surveillance and discriminatory targeted surveillance. They have the capacity to identify and track people everywhere they go, undermining the right to privacy and data protection, the right to free assembly and association, and the right to equality and non-discrimination.

‘FRT systems are known for their inability to correctly identify faces that are not white and male, due to inherent biases. ICCL strongly opposes the use of such technology and, with over 170 civil society organisations and activists from 55 countries around the world, is calling for an outright ban on biometric surveillance in public spaces.

‘The Garda Digital Recordings Bill (currently going through Oireachtas) proposes to authorise Garda access to third party CCTV through a live feed.

‘The explanatory note highlights that it is “considered that this may be necessary in relation to an increase in criminal activity in a particular area where 3rd party cameras may be located.”

This is already deeply problematic as it could lead to general monitoring and profiling of certain areas or people, and amount to extended covert surveillance if An Garda Síochána fail to flag this surveillance with affected members of the public. The risk to people’s rights would multiply should these cameras include FRT.’


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23 thoughts on “Nothing To See Here

  1. Gavin

    Maybe start with upgrading the version on Windows they use and the pulse system first….get the basics right

    a report produced in 2019 by Britain’s Metropolitan Police found 80% of people were incorrectly identified by using this method…bloody hell

  2. Kin

    Apparently a massive fight in Dublin airport and not a gardai in sight
    And these same gardai want arming with tasers
    Time army and gardai were merged
    And the gardai just do what they excess at screwing motorists for offences with fine
    They need dash cams for the gardai and leave dealing with the scum to the army who are trained in the art of weaponry
    And let them work instead of confined to barracks waiting for UN tours
    Dublin airport is swiftly becoming a no go area as the chickens come back to roost

    1. Praetorian

      As an ex Soldier i actually like the sound of that.
      As a Sgt there was nothing worse than looking for stuff for lads to do during the day if there wasn’t a course on or the gym was being used.

      1. Kin

        It makes sense and better still the army pay can be raised in line with gardai
        The navy again with customs and pay increased
        Then no need to train the gardai who frankly are a disgrace
        Costa Rica has no army and both police and army personnel are combined

  3. Paulus

    The sample (blue) pic includes the line ‘Human body part: Human face.
    Does this mean we can look forward to other human body parts being used for identification?

        1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

          at last a job I could really get behind,
          get my teeth into, really be hands on, you know

    1. david langwaLLNER

      how about a new competition the greatest living irish people and the worst

      an antii state survey

  4. freewheeling

    Not long after they drop the old face mask mandates what? Will there be laws making it illegal to obscure your face in public next? lol!

  5. Ian - oG

    While many politicians strike me as rather vapid and vacuous, she takes it to a whole new level.

    Kid glove treatment by RTE, etc. I’d say she hasn’t a breeze about 99% of the stuff she is wheeled out to discuss.

    1. Otis Blue

      Complete lightweight.

      She makes Heather Humphreys look like an intellectual titan in comparison.

  6. Nullzero

    What’s the point of any of this when all that happens to scumbags is they go to court and get a suspended sentence?

  7. Termagant

    I was going to make a joke something along the lines of “FaRT stinks, what a load of hot air etc” but I decided that we were all too mature for that kind of thing

Comments are closed.

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