Lawless questions why facial recognition cameras were purchased for NCH

-Cameras were bought from Chinese company blacklisted in the US-

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development, James Lawless, has written to the Minister for Health to ask why cameras, with facial recognition technology were purchased for the new National Children’s Hospital (NCH) from a Chinese company which has been blacklisted by the US authorities as a result of its suspected use of surveillance technology.

Deputy Lawless said, „When it comes to the NCH it appears the Department of Health are more than happy to just keep throwing money at it, whether it be the donut-shaped design or cameras which might not even be legal – it’s astounding.

„To make it worse, they also seem happy to throw open the doors and welcome in a company which has many questions hanging over it in respect to unlawful surveillance on civilians in China.

„Chinese technology giants are subject to laws which compel them to support, assist and cooperate with China’s national intelligence services – why would we invite them into our hospital network?

„The Board of the NCH want to have the most modern technology, they say that they want to be ‚future proofed’ and that they will decide on whether to use the facial recognition nearer to the hospitals opening in 2023. What I want to know is in what circumstances is facial recognition technology needed in a children’s hospital?

„Facial recognition has a role to play in our airports and in detecting crime but in a national children’s hospital it is hard to see any justification for it,” he concluded.

Fianna Fáil

James Lawless TD

Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development

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