Privacy Priorities - page 14

In order to detect and deter money
laundering and terrorist financing, tens
of thousands of enterprises operating
in Canada are obliged by law to collect
personal information of their clients and to
report certain financial transactions to the
federal Financial Transactions and Reports
Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
In 2009, we conducted an audit to assess
whether FINTRAC has appropriate controls
in place to protect personal information,
and whether its processes and practices
for managing such information comply
with the
Privacy Act
. Canadians must be
assured that their personal information
is being appropriately managed within
well-established controls. The requirement
to safeguard personal information, while
common to all government departments,
is heightened for organizations such
We found that, while FINTRAC itself
has appropriate systems for collecting
and managing personal and financial
information, some reporting entities were
all too eager to turn over data, sometimes
with only the flimsiest justification.
We noted that FINTRAC receives and
retains information beyond that which
is directly related to its operating
programs and activities. Current controls,
including front-end screening and
ongoing monitoring of reports, need to
be enhanced to limit FINTRAC’s
information holdings.
The Rest of the Iceberg
This section highlights just a few of the activities our Office engaged in under the
rubric of the Public Safety and Privacy strategic priority. Please refer to our special
web page for a complete inventory of initiatives, including audits of the RCMP exempt
databank, RCMP operational databases, government data disposal practices, CATSA,
Canadian passport operations, and the Passenger Protect Program (better known as
the ‘no-fly list’). Other work explored the privacy issues raised by changes in Canada-
U.S. border policies; strengthened privacy protections for users of enhanced driver’s
licences and Indian Status Cards; and examined government efforts to introduce
lawful access legislation.
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