Canada's privacy guardians call for comprehensive changes to no-fly list program



    Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Privacy Commissioners &
    Ombudsmen

    FREDERICTON, June 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Federal, provincial and territorial
privacy guardians are united in calling on the federal government to suspend
its new no-fly list program, Passenger Protect, until it can be overhauled to
ensure strong privacy protections for Canadians.
    The information and privacy commissioners and ombudsmen today issued a
joint resolution outlining reforms urgently required for Passenger Protect.
(The resolution is available on the web site of the Office of the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada: www.privcom.gc.ca.)
    The Commissioners, who are meeting in Fredericton to discuss issues of
common concern, also released the following joint statement:
    The Passenger Protect Program involves the secretive use of personal
information in a way that will profoundly impact privacy and other related
human rights such as freedom of association and expression and the right to
mobility.
    We are particularly troubled that Canadians will not have legally
enforceable rights of appeal, to independent adjudication or to compensation
for out-of-pocket expenses or other damages. Commissioners and Ombudsman are
unanimously of the view that the use of such lists in the interests of airline
security should only occur in a manner consistent with Canadian values in the
area of privacy protection.
    It is alarming that Transport Canada has not provided assurances that the
names of individuals identified on its no-fly list will not be shared with
other countries. We do not want,to see, through the failure to take adequate
safeguards,other tragic situations arise where the security of Canadian
citizens may be affected or compromised by security forces at home or abroad.
    There is a very real risk people will be stopped from flying because they
have been incorrectly listed or share the name of someone on the list. There
have been many cases with the US no-fly list where false positives have meant
that even children and well-known public figures such as Senator Edward
Kennedy have been questioned or denied boarding.
    Being placed on the list has serious repercussions for people. This is
particularly worrisome since Canada's federal public-sector Privacy Act is in
critical need of reform and offers no adequate protection or remedies to
address the privacy risks that inappropriate use of the no-fly list creates.
    Until the government substantially overhauls Passenger Protect in order
to address significant risks of the no-fly list to the privacy and other
rights of Canadians, the program should be suspended. Alternatively,
Parliament should ensure that the program functions under strict ministerial
scrutiny with regular public reports to Parliament until a comprehensive
public Parliamentary review is completed and reforms are made.




For further information:

For further information: To contact federal, provincial or territorial
officials for further comment: Canada Office of Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy
Commissioner of Canada, Colin McKay, (613) 995-0103; Alberta: Office of Frank
Work, Information and Privacy Commissioner, (780) 422-6860; British Columbia:
Office of David Loukidelis, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Maria
Dupuis, (250) 387-0777; Manitoba: Office of Irene A. Hamilton, Ombudsman,
(204) 982-9130; New Brunswick: Office of Bernard Richard, Ombudsman, (506)
453-2789; Newfoundland and Labrador: Office of Philip J. Wall, Information and
Privacy Commissioner, (709) 729-6309; Northwest  Territories and Nunavut:
Office of Elaine Keenan-Bengts, Information and  Privacy Commissioner, (867)
669-0976; Nova Scotia: Office of Dulcie  McCallum, Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Review  Officer, (902) 424-4684; Ontario: Office of Ann
Cavoukian, Information  and Privacy Commissioner, (416) 326-3333; Prince
Edward Island: Office of  Karen A. Rose, Information and Privacy
Commissioner,(902) 368-4099; Québec: Office of Jacques Saint-Laurent,
President, Commission d'accès à l'information, (418) 528-7741; Saskatchewan:
Office of R. Gary Dickson, Information and Privacy Commissioner, (306)
787-8350; Yukon Office of Tracy-Anne McPhee, Ombudsman and Information and
Privacy Commissioner, (867) 667-8468


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