The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Canada prepares to roll out biometric passports 

According to the Toronto Star, Canada is laying the regulatory groundwork to introduce biometric passports. - Ottawa takes `big step' to biometric ID

... The latest issue of the Canada Gazette, the government's official notice paper, contains several proposed changes to the formal rules governing passports, including two specific provisions for biometric data.

"Passport Canada may convert any information submitted by an applicant into a digital biometric format for the purpose of inserting that information into a passport or for other uses," says one proposed change.

"Passport Canada may convert an applicant's photograph into a biometric template for the purpose of verifying the applicant's identity, including nationality, and entitlement to obtain or remain in possession of a passport," says another.

Passport Canada officials confirmed yesterday that this is a big step toward a large-scale debut of biometrics — the technology that allows citizens to be identified by physical characteristics, which is increasingly becoming a part of many countries' national ID systems.

In Canada's case, the biometrics will be facial-recognition technology, according to Passport Canada spokesperson Francine Charbonneau.

"There is no timeline yet. There's not even a ballpark figure of the timeline," she said. "But it is a good sign that we have the modification.... It's a big step."

Here is the relevant portion of the Canada Gazette notice about amendments to the Passport Order:

Canada Gazette - Order Amending the Canadian Passport Order - P.C. 2006-529 June 15, 2006

(2) Subsection 8.1(2) of the English version of the Order is replaced by the following:

(2) Passport Canada may convert an applicant's photograph into a biometric template for the purpose of verifying the applicant's identity, including nationality, and entitlement to obtain or remain in possession of a passport.


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