Tag Archives: Facial Recognition

This morning.

Via Irish Times:

Facial recognition technology set to be used by An Garda Síochána will be able to identify and track people in real time using CCTV cameras.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced last week her department is drawing up legislation to allow gardaí to use the technology to analyse CCTV footage for suspects in serious crimes or missing people….

…However, sources confirmed there will be provision for gardaí to use the technology in conjunction with live camera footage rather than just retrospectively.

This would allow the force to track people in real time as they move about in public.

Gardaí will be able to use real-time facial recognition under planned legislation (Irish Times)


Garda use of facial recognition technologies unnecessary and disproportionate (Irish Times Letters)

Previously: 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.’


The proposed new National Children’s Hospital; from an article on IPVM

Shaped like an eye.

Made for looking…

This afternoon.

Charles Rollet reports on IPVM (the ‘world’s leading authority on video surveillance’):

The world’s most expensive hospital project ever, the new Children’s Hospital in Ireland, has chosen an all-Hikvision surveillance system including specialized facial recognition cameras, IPVM has found.

Privacy experts and an Irish politician raised serious concerns about this to IPVM, due to the sensitivity of deploying facial recognition in a children’s hospital and the use of Hikvision cameras given its recent human rights sanctions and China government control.

The NCH, which is currently under construction in Dublin, has already attracted controversy for its spiraling price tag which now stands at $2 billion.

…IPVM made a Freedom of Information request about the NCH’s video surveillance system, and we received one detailing all the “equipment brand and models being used on the NCH project”

While NCH would not disclose the camera counts or pricing, we estimate in the range of a million Euros for the project including at least hundreds of cameras. Given the size of the hospital campus, the variety of high-end models selected (facial recognition, ANPR, PTZs, people-counting, etc.), this is a large project.

IPVM asked about Hikvision’s Xinjiang sanctions and we received a generic response ignoring this question:

“The safety of patients, visitors and staff at the new children’s hospital is of paramount importance to everyone working on the new children’s hospital project.

Stanley Security Systems, who have been working in this area for more than 25 years, were successful in the competitive procurement process for the installation of the security systems at the new children’s hospital.”

Using facial recognition on children is highly sensitive; in both Sweden and France, schools that attempted to use facial recognition were banned from doing so by data regulators due to the GDPR, which Ireland is also subject to.

IPVM asked the NCH directly why it had specified facial recognition cameras and we received this response:

“It has not yet been decided which aspect of this technology’s many capabilities will be used in the new children’s hospital. This decision will be taken nearer the opening of the hospital by Children’s Health Ireland and will be in line with Irish and European data protection and privacy legislation and in such a way as to ensure that the occupants of the hospital have the right protections afforded to them, in line with their privacy rights..”



Ireland National Children’s Hospital Chooses Hikvision End-to-End With Facial Recognition (IPVM)




Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan [with Garda Ian Redican] launching The Garda Photography section’s new facial recognition system Evo-Fit at Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin this morning.

Evo-Fit boasts a “suspect identification rate of about 60 per cent – approximately ten times higher than traditional methods used”.

So it’s only a matter of time before they find the lantern-jawed beast.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)