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RCMP’s use of data may spark probe

May 23, 2014

Vanora Simpson talks to the Chronicle Herald about concerns that the RCMP is gaining access to Canadians’ personal data without a warrant.

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner is contemplating a formal review into the RCMP’s collection of Canadians’ personal data from telecom and Internet companies without a warrant.  While warrants are obtained to get access to most usage information, access to basic subscriber information is an exception. The Chronicle Herald notes that basic subscriber information can be used to put together a profile and can lead authorities to more detailed personal information.  Private companies may be voluntarily turning over this information without their customers’ knowledge.

Vanora Simpson told the Chronicle Herald that “It’s exceptionally easy for police to get access to the data.”

Simpson said Canadian Internet service providers tend to guard customer privacy when it is sought by private parties, such as a record label pursuing a copyright infringement case. But they usually drop the requirement of a warrant if police say they are investigating a crime, she said.



Vanora Simpson

Practice Areas

Privacy & Access to Information