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...