Biometric Law Enforcement Comes to Canada


Facial recognition technology for the purpose of law enforcement has now marched into Canada, with the Calgary Police Service set to become the first Canadian police service to use such technology.

They’ve contracted Texas-based NEC Corporation to provide the tech in the form of its NeoFace Reveal system.

Speaking about – or ‘aboot’, in Canadian parlance – the rationale behind the deal, CPS Inspector Rosemary Hawkins noted that the biometric technology offers “another tool for our investigators to assist in providing leads to identify potential persons of interest in criminal investigations,” which will help to “create efficiencies by providing more viable leads for investigators.”

Indeed, facial recognition technology seems to be of particular value in the realm of law enforcement, where authorities can use a system like NEC’s NeoFace solution to aide surveillance efforts and to identify individuals by matching their faces against those in a database.

The contract comes on the heels of this week’s announcement that Illinois State Police would be employing new palm- and fingerprint-scanners, and last week’s news that law enforcement authorities in Texas’ Bexar County have contracted fingerprint-scanners and facial recognition technology.

This is part of a wider global trend in law enforcement as authorities in countries like Germany and the UK look into how biometric technology can aid them in fighting crime and preventing terrorism. — November 4, 2014 – by Alex Perala