Skip to main content

June 23, 2021

TORONTO — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is calling on the Liberal Party of Canada to cease and desist the use of facial fingerprinting for its nomination process.

“By using it for the purposes of nominating candidates for federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada is tacitly endorsing an unreliable, racist technology,” said Michael Bryant, Executive Director of the CCLA.

“Besides its impact on the privacy rights of those participating in the process, the Liberal Party’s use of the controversial technology takes unfair advantage of its exemption from Canadian privacy laws, and sends the wrong message to municipal, provincial and federal election officials that this technology is ready for prime time.”

Facial fingerprinting, or facial recognition technology is highly contested in Canada, and elsewhere. The Liberal Party of Canada has deployed the technology in its candidate nomination process.

The CCLA has sent a letter to the Liberal Party of Canada signed by Michael Bryant, Executive Director, and Brenda McPhail, Director, Privacy, Technology & Surveillance.

Numerous studies on facial fingerprinting show the technology and algorithms have a large racial bias. CCLA and other civil society organizations are advocating for a moratorium or ban on this technology pending a critical pan-Canadian discussion.

“By using facial fingerprinting, the Liberal Party signals to municipalities and provinces that facial fingerprinting technology is adequate for voter ID purposes, tacitly endorsing a technology known for discriminatory treatment of black faces, indigenous faces and people of colour. Adopting one of the most invasive, controversial technologies as part of a critical internal process is wrong,” concluded Bryant.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

For the Media

For further comments, please contact us at

For Live Updates

Please keep referring to this page and to our social media platforms. We are on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

en_CAEnglish (Canada)