Gardaí’s plans to quickly implement laws allowing the use of facial recognition technology have been met with strong opposition from the Oireachtas justice committee.
Justice Minister Simon Harris insists on amending a bill which would allow the police to utilize body cameras, in order for FRT to be introduced. At present, identifying suspects and gathering evidence requires manual searching, a lengthy process which can take months. Nevertheless, the technology could assist Gardaí in finding perpetrators of child sexual abuse as well as aid investigations into major crimes.
Nevertheless, the chairman of the justice committee believes the idea is flawed and he wants his team to assess the situation before agreeing to any proposal. Adding further, Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly and Green Party Ministers supposedly expressed their disagreement with the plan last year.
Kildare North TD commented that such passive use of facial recognition technology can breach individuals’ privacy rights along with data protection rules; for this reason a thorough study should be conducted prior to its implementation. Ultimately, a “methodical and considered approach” is what’s needed.