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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday January 17, 2001
Police are secretly scanning the faces of customers at all Ontario casinos for match-ups with criminal mug shots in a special police database. Ontario's privacy commission said yesterday it knew nothing about the practice and will investigate.

The Hamilton Spectator has learned that the Ontario government bought the high-tech face-recognition system so Ontario Provincial Police gaming enforcement teams can find criminals more easily inside casinos.

The system lets police compare images from live video surveillance inside the casino to a database of mug shots, and look for matches.

The surveillance goes on at all of Ontario's commercial and charity casinos, 24 hours a day.

That means patrons of Casino Niagara, Casino Rama, Casino Windsor and five charity casinos in cities such as Brantford are subject to possible face-recognition scanning by the police.

Police do not need special authority to operate the system because there is "no expectation of privacy" at a casino, said Detective Superintendent Ken Smith of the OPP. Source...

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Casino cops secretly scan you