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OPC officials appear before parliamentary committee examining Bill S-7

June 6, 2022

Brent Homan, Deputy Commissioner of Compliance with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, accompanied by Senior Legal Counsel Regan Morris, appeared today before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) to discuss Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Customs Act and Preclearance Act, 2016.

Among other things, the bill seeks to clarify the circumstances in which border service officers may examine documents stored on personal digital devices.

In his remarks, Deputy Commissioner Homan indicated a threshold of “reasonable grounds to suspect” would be more appropriate than the lower threshold currently proposed in the bill, namely “reasonable general concern”. Referencing recommendations from a 2019 investigation of CBSA’s digital device examination practices, Deputy Commissioner Homan also underscored certain procedural and accountability requirements that should form part of the legal framework.

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