FIPA Bulletin – December 2012

In this issue:

  • Big Wins, New Challenges: 2012 in Transparency
  • A new year means new ways to support FIPA
  • Privacy advocates raise red flags over C-12 surveillance measures
  • New parliamentary study tackles big data, social media, and privacy
  • Information Commissioner looks to overhaul Access to Information Act
  • BC Commish tries to limit license plate surveillance system
  • FIPA joins coalition against secretive trade deal
  • Upcoming event: Protecting Consitituent Privacy – Where to Start?

Download the bulletin.

BC FIPA Makes Submission for the Customer Name and Address Information Consultation by Public Safety Canada

BC FIPA sent its submission for the Customer Name and Address Information Consultation to Public Safety Canada today. FIPA outlines three main concerns with the CNA proposal.

[T]he proposals go beyond maintaining existing powers in order to cope with new technology … [and] would actually lower the threshold currently required to obtain Canadians’ personal information and expand the areas in which law enforcement agencies may intrude into the lives of individuals.

The consultation document provides no concrete evidence to support the claim that new technologies present challenges to investigations. Nor does it provide evidence to suggest that the expanded powers will in any way improve law enforcement agencies’ ability to investigate crimes or prevent terrorist activity.

The consultation document attempts to equate the sensitivity of personal information such as a phone number or address with the sensitivity of an IP address. The two are not equivalent … Whereas an individual’s address does not reveal anything about where the individual goes or what they do in their private lives, the IP address has the potential to reveal all these things. For this reason, law enforcement access to IP addresses is a rather invasive proposal.

Download the full text of the submission (pdf).

Consultation on Lawful Access: Vancouver Meeting

Justice Canada and BC FIPA held a meeting with civil society groups in the context of the government consultation on Lawful Access on March 15, 2005.

No one in the group assembled for the Vancouver consultation questioned the need for lawful access provisions in the Criminal Code and the Competition Act to address new technologies. However, there was substantial opposition to many of the proposals, and the following summarizes the key recurring comments made throughout the consultation:

The proposals went beyond what was required by the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber-crime.

The proposal of a lower threshold for obtaining legal access to transmission data was not acceptable and a higher threshold should be mandated. The analogy put forth by the government that transmission data is akin to DNR data, and that it does not attract a higher reasonable expectation of privacy, is false.

It will be very difficult to isolate certain traffic data (e.g. header information) from content, as suggested by the federal government.

E-mail, whether in storage or in transit should be protected at the higher threshold.

As in the 2002 consultation, there is a lack of empirical evidence to prove what difficulties, if any, the federal government is encountering with the current lawful access provisions and which would justify some of the proposals.

The March 31, 2005 deadline for submissions does not provide enough time for adequate consultation and preparation of submissions. The deadline should be extended.

Read the full account of the meeting (pdf).