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OPC Hosts International Group - Monitoring Risks and Highlighting Opportunities

Our Office is pleased to be hosting the 49th meeting of the “Berlin Group”, more formally known as the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, which takes place today and tomorrow, in Montreal. This is the first time that this Group has met in Canada. Participants in the meeting, representing more than 20 international data protection and privacy authorities, will be focusing on privacy-related topics such as electronic payments, vehicle event data recorders and locational privacy.

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Transparency, search engines and government appetite for data

There has been a long-standing debate between privacy advocates and government officials about the extent of government interest in the information transmitted across domestic and international networks. The passage of USA PATRIOT Act intensified this debate and prompted concern from a more general audience as well. Ever since, the digerati and online crowd have been whispering and wondering about the interface between search engines, particularly Google, and law enforcement and national security bodies.

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Privacy for the next decade, not next week

Is the privacy community weakening its influence by concentrating on the incidents and obsessions of everyday life? By reacting to decisions made by individual companies, by focusing on specific technical challenges and eventually acceding to the creation of tools that both solve those technical challenges and enable the gradual erosion of our right to privacy, are we behaving shortsightedly?

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Hands across the ocean

An article out of the UK this morning reports that the U.S. FBI is considering the development of an international database in collaboration with the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada which could potentially make personal information – biometric data like iris, palm and finger prints – of its citizens instantly available to police forces in other partner countries. The U.S.-led program, called “Server in the Sky”, would aid forces in tracking down major criminals and suspected terrorists.

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