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.
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.
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.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Federal and Provincial Privacy Commissioners are meeting in Fredericton this week. About an hour or so ago, they jointly released the following joint resolution calling for the suspension of the "Passenger Protect" program (aka no fly list).
Canada's privacy guardians call for comprehensive changes to no-fly list program
Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Privacy Commissioners & Ombudsmen
FREDERICTON, June 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Federal, provincial and territorial privacy guardians are united in calling on the federal government to suspend its new no-fly list program, Passenger Protect, until it can be overhauled to ensure strong privacy protections for Canadians.
The information and privacy commissioners and ombudsmen today issued a joint resolution outlining reforms urgently required for Passenger Protect. (The resolution is available on the web site of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada: www.privcom.gc.ca.)
The Commissioners, who are meeting in Fredericton to discuss issues of common concern, also released the following joint statement:
The Passenger Protect Program involves the secretive use of personal information in a way that will profoundly impact privacy and other related human rights such as freedom of association and expression and the right to mobility.
We are particularly troubled that Canadians will not have legally enforceable rights of appeal, to independent adjudication or to compensation for out-of-pocket expenses or other damages. Commissioners and Ombudsman are unanimously of the view that the use of such lists in the interests of airline security should only occur in a manner consistent with Canadian values in the area of privacy protection.
It is alarming that Transport Canada has not provided assurances that the names of individuals identified on its no-fly list will not be shared with other countries. We do not want,to see, through the failure to take adequate safeguards,other tragic situations arise where the security of Canadian citizens may be affected or compromised by security forces at home or abroad.
There is a very real risk people will be stopped from flying because they have been incorrectly listed or share the name of someone on the list. There have been many cases with the US no-fly list where false positives have meant that even children and well-known public figures such as Senator Edward Kennedy have been questioned or denied boarding.
Being placed on the list has serious repercussions for people. This is particularly worrisome since Canada's federal public-sector Privacy Act is in critical need of reform and offers no adequate protection or remedies to address the privacy risks that inappropriate use of the no-fly list creates.
Until the government substantially overhauls Passenger Protect in order to address significant risks of the no-fly list to the privacy and other rights of Canadians, the program should be suspended. Alternatively, Parliament should ensure that the program functions under strict ministerial scrutiny with regular public reports to Parliament until a comprehensive public Parliamentary review is completed and reforms are made.
I happen to be in Fredericton as well and was interviewed by Global TV. You should be able to see it online here, if you're interested.
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