Annual Report to Parliament 2013-14 - page 11

1 — Commissioner’s Message
In addition, the Canada Border Services
Agency (CBSA) implemented its High
Integrity Personnel Security Screening
Standard (focused on in last year’s Annual
Report), which includes an “integrity
interview” that collects a significant amount of
personal information.
RCMP Review
One of the liveliest and most important public
discussions around privacy in Canada for many
years has been the lawful access debate. Seeking
to advance it, our Office launched a review to
determine whether the RCMP had appropriate
controls in place to ensure its collection of
subscriber information from companies
without a warrant was in compliance with the
Privacy Act
.
In the end, we were disappointed to find that
limitations in how the RCMP recorded this
information meant we were unable to assess
whether such controls were in place. It was
impossible to determine how often the RCMP
collected subscriber data without a warrant.
Nor could we assess whether such requests
were justified. The review is included in this
report in section 4.
State surveillance
Over-shadowing all of the issues already
described has been a much higher profile for
the ongoing challenge in Canada and other
democratic states about conserving the right
of privacy of individuals in a digital era while
also pursuing effective national security. Public
concern has been heightened by revelations
about state surveillance activities, especially
among the so-called “Five Eyes,” which is
an intelligence alliance comprising Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.
The fallout from the revelations is examined in
some additional detail in our Feature, found
in section 3. In particular, we consider their
impact on public expectations for greater
transparency from security agencies about how
they operate and use personal information
within reason, given the sensitivity of their
activities.
An OPC Special Report to Parliament in
January 2014 entitled
Checks and Controls:
Reinforcing Privacy Protection and Oversight
for the Canadian Intelligence Community in
an Era of Cyber-Surveillance
examined many
of these issues. Introducing 10 detailed
recommendations, the report stated:
The aim of renewal in this area should
be to protect privacy in a complex threat
environment; oversee collection so that it is
reasonable, proportionate and minimally
intrusive; ensure appropriate retention and
access controls (among both public and
private sectors); ensure accuracy of analysis;
and control the scope of information requests
and disclosures through specific safeguards,
agreements and caveats.
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