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CanAge submits to federal committee on the use of facial recognition technology to improve seniors’ care

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CanAge, in collaboration with AGE-WELL (Canada’s Technology and Aging Network), recently made a submission to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics’ study on the use and impact of facial recognition technology.

The purpose of this briefing is to highlight the valuable role that facial recognition technology (FRT) can play in helping to improve the lives of older adults and the need for regulation that ensures ethical and privacy rights are upheld, while continuing to enable the use of FRT for societal good.

Recommendations

  1. We recommend that as Canada continues to modernize its privacy laws, that clear distinctions between types of technology that utilizes biometric data are made to ensure effective governing of these technologies, based on a common language.
  2. We recommend that adjustments be made to Bill C-11 to bolster the knowledge and consent requirements for the use of FRT, including the addition of explicit definitions of consent that ensure people with disabilities, including people living with dementia, are meaningfully accounted for, and that their consent rights are upheld.

Currently, AGE-WELL is researching how this type of technology can improve the lives of older Canadians living with severe dementia. This project is working on an innovative solution to address the issue of undetectable pain in these individuals, developing technological tools to detect pain through expressional cues and subsequently alert long-term care staff.

Facial recognition and detection technology is also increasingly being used in health care, therapy, for personal care/home assistance and to aid in diagnostics.

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Toronto, ON, M5S 1V4

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

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