Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Privacy Commissioner also calls for changes to Bill C-59

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has also called for changes to Bill C-59.

In a letter dated 5 March 2018, Therrien recommended 11 amendments to the bill, including two pertaining specifically to the CSE Act's provisions on the acquisition and use of "publicly available information":

"RECOMMENDATION 10: That section 24 [of the CSE Act] be amended to add a limit to the activities listed in 24(1) namely: the measures shall be reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to the reasonable foreseeable effects on Canadians and people in Canada including on their right to privacy"; and

"RECOMMENDATION 11: That the definition of “publicly available information” in section 2 of Part 3 be amended to specify that information is published or broadcast lawfully, and that information obtained through purchase or subscription was legally obtained or created by the vendor."

Explanations for these recommendations can be found in the Commissioner's letter.

The Commissioner Therrien also expressed his support for one of the recommendations made by the CSE Commissioner in January:

"We note that, in his brief provided to the Committee on December 6, 2017, the Commissioner for CSE recommended that the Intelligence Commissioner 'should approve the active cyber operations in addition to the defensive cyber operations that are authorized by the Minister pursuant to subsections 30(1) and 31(1) of the proposed Communications Security Establishment Act.' We agree with this recommendation, as it addresses a gap in the Intelligence Commissioner's authority to approve activities under all CSE mandates."


News coverage:

Alex Boutilier, "Ottawa’s privacy watchdog wants limits on spies’ information collecting powers," Toronto Star, 8 March 2018.


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