B.C.'s privacy commissioner says it's okay for police to identify Stanley Cup rioters with ICBC data and facial-recognition software, but they will need to get a court order first.

Elizabeth Denham says the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act prohibits one government agency from collecting information, such as a driver's licence, and using it for another purpose. However, she says a provision in the law allows information to be disclosed to police.

ICBC's database has already been used to find fraudsters and identity thieves, but last week ICBC offered it to police to help identify people photographed taking part in the riot following the Stanley Cup final.

Since the riot, Vancouver police have collected thousands of images and hours of video of the participants and have launched a massive investigation to identify those in the photos committing crimes.

ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman says police could provide images, and the corporation's software would try to match them with photos in its database linked to drivers licences.

Earlier this week, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association raised concerns over the offer, saying ICBC promised that the system wouldn't be used for surveillance identification when it was initially introduced about two years ago.

The facial recognition technology uses computers to take biometric measurements, such as the distance between a person's eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw, to create a digital profile that is used to identify the person from another photograph or video image.