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The Trudeau government quietly tested facial recognition technology on millions of travellers at Toronto Pearson International airport in 2016, with the hope of identifying potential deportees. The Globe and Mail reported that the project, which is the largest known deployment of facial recognition by the Canadian government to date, lasted for six months. Its intent was to spot people who the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) had suspected could use fake forms of identification to try to enter the country. A total of 31 cameras and 14 capture zones where installed in Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson’s Airport. The cameras would capture images of every traveller’s face and run them through a list of 5,000 people who were previously deported. When the system found a match, the traveller was pulled to the side for a “secondary inspection”. According to the contractor hired by the government to run this project, Face4 Systems Inc, the facial recognition caught 47 people whose faces matched with the CBSA’s database. However, the use of facial recognition technology has been controversial, especially when the public isn’t made aware that it is being used.

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