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Canada privacy commissioner concerned about sharing information with US

[JURIST] Canada [JURIST news archive] must do more to protect citizens' personal information from foreign governments, the national privacy commissioner [official website] said in a report [text; press release] to Parliament presented Tuesday. Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart [official profile] singled out the Canadian Border Services Agency [official website] for allowing guards and customs agents to give their US counterparts private information over the phone, even though agreements between the two nations require written requests and responses. The report also noted that the USA PATRIOT Act [JURIST news archive], passed by the US Congress [HR 3162 summary] soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and renewed this year [JURIST report], "has become the symbol of the increasing concern of Canadians about the security of their personal information when it leaves Canada."

Stoddart also called on Parliament [official website] to update privacy legislation [official backgrounder] to reflect "the reality of huge government systems that are capable of a surveillance we could not have dreamed of in 1982." Canada's Privacy Act has not been overhauled since its enactment in 1983. CBC News has more. The Globe and Mail has additional coverage.

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