Privacy Implications of the USA Patriot Act

By Stoddart, Jennifer | Canadian Parliamentary Review, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

Privacy Implications of the USA Patriot Act


Stoddart, Jennifer, Canadian Parliamentary Review


The United States Congress passed the USA Patriot Act soon after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It gives new investigative powers to law enforcement agencies in the US. Section 215 of the Act allows a special court to secretly issue an order requiring "the production of any tangible things" to the FBI. This can include an individual's personal information. Anyone served with such a secret order is prohibited from disclosing to anyone else that the order exists or has been complied with. When Canadian privacy commissioners met in May 2004 in Victoria, BC, a general consensus emerged that exchange of personal information across borders was becoming increasingly significant in the context of continental economic integration. The British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner released his advisory report on the privacy implications of the USA Patriot Act on October 29, 2004. More than 500 representations were received about this issue including the following submission from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

**********

We live in a virtual world where the global transmission of information is becoming most seamless. The operations of governments and corporations are profoundly transformed by the emergence of e-government and e-commerce. Electronic collection, use, sharing and storage of personal information is at the hub of this transformation which modifies not only the way organizations carry out their daily business but also, more fundamentally, the manner by which they communicate with citizens, consumers, clients and stakeholders.

The concerns raised about the impact of the USA Patriot Act on the privacy of personal information about Canadians are really part of a much broader issue--the extent to which Canada and other countries share personal information about their citizens with each other, and the extent to which information that has been transferred abroad for commercial purposes may be accessible to foreign governments. The enactment of the USA Patriot Act may simply have served as the catalyst that brought these issues to the fore. In Canada, citizens increasingly recognize the vital importance of personal information management for good government and sound corporate practices.

The issue of transfers of personal information across borders goes to the heart of national sovereignty as well as to Canadian identity. As a society, we must think more broadly about the mix of policy instruments that will provide an adequate level of protection of personal information as required by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the Privacy Act and equivalent provincial and territorial statutes. This reflection is necessary if Canada is to maintain its leadership in privacy protection.

Governments across Canada have introduced many measures in recent decades to protect the personal information of Canadians. Most significantly, they have developed laws regulating the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by governments and private sector organizations.

At the federal level, the Privacy Act, which came into force in 1983, regulates the collection use and disclosure of personal information in the public sector by about 150 federal institutions. All provinces and territories have similar public sector legislation.

Canada has gone one step further by setting privacy standards for information handling in the commercial private sector. Beginning in stages since 2001, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act has regulated the handling of personal information in the private sector across the country. Several provinces have enacted similar privacy standards. PIPEDA brings Canada law into line with privacy standards for personal information developed by the European Union, and means that our standards for the protection of personal information, when used by a commercial organization, are among the most stringent in the world.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Privacy Implications of the USA Patriot Act
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.