Business Dufferin News Municipal Orangeville

IRIS R&D Group Responds: We Don’t Own FaceMatch

IRIS R&D Group has responded to our questions and clarified some information contained in our original reporting. IRIS R&D provides us with insights into the functionality of the irisGO, the relationship between IRIS R&D Group and FaceMatch, and more. This is a follow-up to our previous story titled, ‘Orangeville Under Surveillance?! What is IRIS R&D?‘, where we reported on the cameras equipped with artificial intelligence that were installed in Orangeville’s Rotary Park and Community Garden.

We begin our reporting with the clarifications that IRIS R&D Group provided with regards to our previous reporting on this topic. They notified us that the references used for our previous reporting included outdated and incorrect information, specifically when it came to FaceMatch, as IRIS R&D states that they do “not have any ownership nor use of this technology.” IRIS R&D Group has clarified that the facial recognition technology referenced in this reporting is not owned by IRIS R&D Group, but a separate entity owned by the co-founders. Considering the credibility and recency of the references that indicate otherwise, including IRIS R&D Group’s own website (as of August 3rd, 2020), this clarification is much needed. IRIS R&D Group affirms that it has no plans to integrate any face recognition technology with irisGO or any of their other offerings. IRIS R&D also states that its products are MFIPPA Compliant.

Source: IRIS R&D Group Website with the caption “IRIS Team with Police Services Partners” – Obtained August 4, 2020

After this, we jump into the questions that we shared in our previous story on IRIS R&D, which they have responded to. These questions include:

  • Did IRIS R&D approach the Town of Orangeville with this solution? If so, why was Orangeville chosen?
  • Is Orangeville the first municipality to use irisGO, or any of IRIS R&D’s products, for the following purposes: surveillance of people, crowd control, or ensuring COVID-19 safe-distancing guidelines are followed?
  • Who can purchase an irisGO?
  • How much does it cost to obtain an irisGO? How much does it cost to operate on an annual basis?
  • Who programs the use case (the user or IRIS R&D) for an irisGO, and can this be done remotely? Does this require an additional fee?
  • Is it possible to deploy FaceMatch or any other facial recognition technology on an irisGO?
  • Do you see how some may find it concerning how a company that espouses the importance of privacy is also piloting facial recognition technology with police services?
  • Are you able to share if Orangeville Police Services, Shelburne Police Services, or the Ontario Provincial Police is piloting facial recognition technology that was developed by IRIS R&D?
  • Are you able to share if the aforementioned organizations are using any products or services provided by IRIS R&D including, but not limited to, any that incorporate the use of facial recognition technology?
  • Is it possible for someone to view an irisGO’s live video feed? If so, are faces blurred?
  • If I’m captured on an irisGO is it possible for someone to see my face under any circumstance?
  • Is it necessary for someone to see the photos/videos produced by an irisGO for the technology to function in terms of the stated purpose of ensuring COVID-19 safe-distancing guidelines are followed?
  • Who is able to see the photos and videos generated by an irisGO?
  • What data is generated by an irisGO? Is any of this data stored for longer than a day?
  • Where is the data stored, who owns it, and who has access to it?
  • In the future, if additional parties want to have access to the data/footage generated by an irisGO in Orangeville, how does one obtain it? Does it require approval from the Town of Orangeville and/or IRIS R&D?
  • As per the company’s F6S page, IRIS R&D has developed an AI model that enables the detection and understanding of vulnerable road users. Can you please clarify what this means?

References – IRIS R&D Group

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