Canadian Security Magazine

B.C. privacy commish investigating police LPR

By The Canadian Press   

News Public Sector

VICTORIA - B.C.'s privacy commissioner has launched an investigation into whether police are complying with privacy laws when they use cameras mounted on patrol cars to photograph vehicles and licence plates.

Privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham says the so-called automated licence plate recognition program allows police to compare the photos to a list of licence plate numbers associated with people who are of interest to police.
The program instantly notifies police when there is a match.

Denham says members of the public have raised concerns about the use of the technology and its implications on people’s privacy.

She says the investigation will focus on the use of the program by the Victoria Police Department, but a report expected to be published later this summer will provide guidance to all B.C. law enforcement agencies that use it.

The privacy commissioner will also conduct a second investigation in August into whether public bodies are complying with regulations when they disclose public-interest information, such as environmental harms or risks to health and safety.


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