A new binational privacy charter will allow the U.S. to share information about Canadians, collected at the border, with other countries. “The U.S. won’t have to explicitly tell Canada about its plan to pass along the personal information in most cases.” “But the U.S. can only do so in accordance with U.S. law and relevant international agreements and arrangements.”

“In the absence of such “international agreements and arrangements,” the U.S. must inform Canada prior to the transfer, or as soon as possible after the transfer in the case of urgent circumstances.”

Emily Gilbert, director of the Canadian studies program at the University of Toronto, raised questions:
1. “When somebody is a person of interest in the United States, but is a Canadian, what does that mean?” “And then what does it mean if that information is then being sent to the European Union or somewhere else?”
2. it is unclear how the distinct constitutional and legal frameworks of the two countries are going to be maintained in the context of cross-border information sharing.
3. where will data collected under the border processes be physically stored and who will have access to it.                               4. regarding the principles of “effective remedies before a fair and objective authority” when a person’s privacy has been breached”,” who would fulfil the role of authority and whether the body’s rulings could be appealed.”

Some points to consider:

1. Note that the U.S. Is only required to inform Canada when sharing Canadian information, not get permission.

2. Also, as usual, so many questions and no answers; questions that should have been resolved before signing an agreement.

3. Do they only collect the information when you physically go to the border and what information is collected?

4. What do they do with all the other information they have access to on Canadian citizens who never enter the U.S.?

5. What are the U.S. laws (today, bearing in mind they can change tomorrow), what are the international agreements and arrangements? It’s very convenient to throw around the words “laws, agreements, arrangements” but what are they? What information can be collected, under what circumstances, who has access, etc. We are told none of this.

5. Canadians have never been consulted as to whether they agree with this sharing of personal information.

6. To again quote Stanley Stylianos (see prior post), “Once that information gets into the American system, you can’t control it,” And this would be made worse when it is shared around the world. The U.S. shares it with, for example, Iraq, Iraq shares it with (fill in country), who shares it with (fill in country), who shares it with (whoever). At what point does it enter the hands of the marketing companies, the U.S. military (who had already started an illegal DNA database on its own citizens – see prior post).

7. We have already seen that the hospitals can’t/won’t protect the information in its database. So it is highly unlikely that the information will stay confidential once it starts entering even more databases.

From the Globe & Mail’s comment section:

1. andhalamadola.

How does this privacy charter take precedence over our own Citizens Charter?

2. SlipperySlope: The Harper government, selling our privacy, to the highest bidder.

3. Scared Monkey: Oxymoron of the day, “Share/ private confidential” information. Wow!

4. Richard Roskell: It is SUCH an honour to have personal information about Canadians shared with and administered by the USA, for use as they see fit. All the sucking up that our governments do with America is really starting to pay off!

5. Chris in Ottawa: Harper should be tried for treason at some point. The only jurisdiction that should be allowed to share information on Canadians derived from Canadian sources should be Canada and that should only be done under the umbrella of international agreements that protect privacy. I have no confidence at all that the Americans will not abuse this!


6. Mr.Helpful

Why is it called a privacy charter when it is the opposite of privacy.

Responses: OldBear: Read 1984, it’s called Doublespeak. Wren10: “marketing”, “re-branding”, “spin”.

Now, even more Canadians are planning to never enter the U.S. again. But is that enough?


Calgary Herald – by the Canadian Press – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border into under new privacy charter – 6/28/12

Global News – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border info under new privacy charter – Jim Bronskill – The Canadian Press – 6/28/12

International Trade E Newsletter Content – Toronto Star – 6/29/12

CBC News – U.S. Can share Canadian border info under privacy deal – The Canadian Press – 6/28/12

The Globe & Mail – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border info under new privacy charter – Jim Bronskill – 6/29/12




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