Coalition Leaders divided over the use of facial recognition technology for Gardaí

Coalition Leaders divided over the use of facial recognition technology for Gardaí
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There is a disagreement among Coalition leaders concerning the application of facial recognition technology for Gardaí.

Minister for Justice Simon Harris wants to include this technology in an amendment currently going through the legislative process.

The Green Party insists that specific legislation is necessary to regulate the complexities of software, as an amendment would fall short.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has supported Minister Harris on the matter.

Mr Martin stated, "I understand the concerns people have, but I favour using facial recognition in very selective, specific circumstances."

At the Fianna Fáil commemoration in Arbour Hill cemetery, Taoiseach Micheál Martin was questioned about potential plans for facial recognition technology.

"I would be personally OK with that.

"Once the adequate safeguards are put in place, I do believe it’s moving in the right direction."

James Lawless, the Fianna Fáil TD and Chair of the Justice Committee has said the jury is still out about how AI technology will be used in the future.

Last week, Green Party Minister of State Ossian Smyth defended his party's opposition to the addition of facial recognition technology to the legislation currently going through the Oireachtas.

"I absolutely agree with the Garda Commissioner that it is very useful technology. We want the gardaí to have any technology that's needed to investigate serious crimes. So there's no real dispute there. We've said that we don't think it should be included in the body cam legislation, which is halfway through its process, and that we think that it should be properly debated and that should go to the Justice committee.

"And in fact, the chair of the justice Committee, James Lawless agrees with us, and said that he feels that we should have a proper discussion about the whole of that technology, that facial recognition.