Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Security Bill Needs Safeguards to Prevent 'A Profile on All of Us': Privacy Czar

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Security Bill Needs Safeguards to Prevent 'A Profile on All of Us': Privacy Czar

Article excerpt

Security bill needs more safeguards: watchdog

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OTTAWA - National security agencies should be required to destroy personal information once they determine someone is not a threat, the federal privacy watchdog says.

Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien is calling for changes to the Liberal government's sweeping security bill to ensure prompt disposal of personal data the agencies don't really need.

"Otherwise national security agencies will be able to keep a profile on all of us," Therrien told the House of Commons public safety committee Thursday.

The Liberal security legislation, tabled in June, fleshes out campaign promises to revise elements of a contentious omnibus bill brought in by the Harper government after a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in October 2014.

The legislation, now being studied by the public safety committee, would tighten provisions that deal with information sharing between federal agencies.

Therrien said the government needs to go further to achieve the right balance between security and privacy.

The Liberals say they have tried to find middle ground -- in part by rolling back measures that alarmed civil libertarians.

The Conservatives gave the Canadian Security Intelligence Service explicit authority to derail terrorist threats, expanding the service's traditional intelligence-collection mandate.

The Liberal legislation requires CSIS to seek a warrant for any threat reduction measure that would "limit" a right or freedom protected by the charter, and clarifies that a warrant can only be issued if a judge is satisfied the measure complies with the charter.

The bill would also create a new super-watchdog -- the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency -- to oversee the intelligence activities of more than a dozen federal agencies, including some, like the Canada Border Services Agency, that have never been subject to such review.

The government has also established a national security committee of MPs and senators with access to secret information to keep an eye on the intelligence world. …

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