April 4, 2012 Letter to Minister Toews re Bill C-30
On February 14, 2012 the federal Government re-introduced its three surveillance bills (Bills C-50, C-51, and C-52) in one bill, Bill C-30. As with previous versions of the surveillance legislation, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner identified serious privacy concerns for citizens of our province, and indeed all Canadians. To its credit, the Government has signaled its openness to amend Bill C-30. The Commissioner has written to the Minister of Public Safety with positive recommendations that ensure that Canadians can have both effective law enforcement and rigorous privacy protections.
October 31, 2011 Letter to Ministers Vic Toews and Robert Nicholson RE:Surveillance [PDF]
April 4, 2011 Letter to Ministers Vic Toews RE:Bill C-30 [PDF]
We can, and must, have both security and privacy, in unison. It should not be one at the expense of the other. The true value of privacy must be recognized – and ideally enhanced, not diminished – in any effort to modernize law enforcement powers. The federal government must be strongly urged to amend the bill, in recognition of the sensitivity of the data being collected. At a minimum, the proposed legislation should not proceed unless it contains adequate judicial authorization and accountability provisions, in order to preserve the vital elements of openness and transparency that are fundamental to Canada’s free and democratic society. The public Parliamentary hearings must include all affected stakeholders – the police, citizens and telecommunications service providers – to ensure elected officials understand the scope and effects of the legislation.
Privacy by Design
By proactively embedding the principles of Privacy by Design (PbD) into the development of new information technologies and systems, personal information may continue to receive the protections intended. PbD was developed in part to lay to rest the dated “zero-sum” mindset that privacy must be sacrificed for security. PbD seeks to accommodate both legitimate interests in a “positive-sum, win-win” manner, not through the “either/or, zero-sum” approach, where unnecessary trade-offs must be made.