Fresh from learning that the NZ Police used mass surveillance facial recognition software from an Orwellian company that illegally sources photos without any sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss, we suddenly hear this…
Last week, RNZ revealed police conducted hundreds of searches, including for suspects, using American software Clearview AI.
The trial, conducted between February and March, did not have the necessary sign-offs from the Police Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner and the Cabinet.
Police said they do not intend to use Clearview because it was ineffective in New Zealand.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster today said he had ordered a stocktake of any similar software being used.
“I’ve commissioned a stocktake of any surveillance-type technologies that we may be using or trialing to make sure that there’s nothing equivalent [to Clearview],” Coster said.
How many other surveillance programs were the cops using here?
The Police Leadership seem to understand the line they need to walk between abuse of power and civil rights…
Coster also said police had not searched any homes without a warrant under controversial new powers granted by legislation passed by Parliament last week.
The legislation grants police the ability to search premises if they believe Covid-19 epidemic rules are not being followed.
Coster said police needed the powers to take action against things like out-of-control parties.
…but the Police themselves seem to be trying it on.
If Police leadership have to call for a stocktake of mass surveillance programs the Police are currently utilising, that should concern everyone.
The Police were boasting about their gang raids during Lockdown 4 & 3, and I’m not sure national emergencies are the best time to be prosecuting the war on drugs when there are so many open questions about Police power at this stage.
There is already the push for incredibly intrusive mass surveillance to combat the pandemic being mooted with the most unsuitable tech partners pushing for contracts, we can’t allow a long standing curtailing of of civil liberties once NZ is plague free.