Backgrounder: About the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act
February 22, 2022
The Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act (SCIDA) was adopted in 2019 after much parliamentary debate with an aim to enable more timely and effective information sharing across government for national security purposes.
SCIDA authorizes institutions to disclose information relevant to national security, including personal information, to a select group of federal government institutions with national security mandates.
An important concern in the development of SCIDA was risk to law-abiding citizens that comes when the personal information of many is shared to identify the few individuals actually involved in activities of concern to national security.
SCIDA seeks to strike a reasonable balance between privacy and national security.
SCIDA permits disclosures where the disclosing institution satisfies itself that the information will contribute to the exercise of the recipient institution’s jurisdiction or responsibilities in respect of activities that undermine the security of Canada, and will not affect any person’s privacy interest more than is reasonably necessary (the disclosure test).
The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act established an independent review function of SCIDA.review of 2020 disclosures.
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