Way back in 1996, a Reform Party MP questioned the privacy implications of an electronic voter registry, saying:
“The first and main concern is the privacy issue … since the information is to be shared by different levels of government and different governmental bodies. There is a risk that privacy can be compromised. The more information is transferred and shared, the greater the risk of security of the information.”
That MP was Stephen Harper.
Needless to say, times have changed.
Today, Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government are trying to steamroll Bill C-51, its anti-terrorism bill, through Parliament.
Bill C-51 raises some serious privacy-related concerns.
The Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, a bill within the bill, is particularly troubling. The bill permits information sharing for an incredibly broad range of reasons, most of them unrelated to terrorism. This information would be shared across 17 government institutions.
The bill also allows the prospect of cabinet expansion to other departments as well as further disclosure “to any person, for any purpose.” It basically gives the government carte blanche to share your information with whoever they choose.
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