On the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was approved by the CBSA Vice President (VP) of Programs Branch and the CBSA Corporate Affairs Branch, Access to Information and Privacy Director.
In addition to sharing information with partners from the United States (US) Department of Homeland Security (USDHS), under existing instruments, namely: a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) for the exchange of customs information; a Statement of Mutual Understanding (SMU) for the exchange of traveler information; and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for the exchange of criminal evidence, the CBSA also has a compelling need to share information with the FBI, regarding matters relevant to the shared mandates of these two organizations. As Canada and the US share the longest non-militarized border in the world, the sharing of information between intelligence and criminal investigations programs on both sides of the border becomes imperative for the protection of its citizens. Business and traveler volumes traversing the Canada-US border justify the necessity to have well established, real-time intelligence and investigative links.
To this end, in 2016, the CBSA established a process for information sharing with the FBI, pursuant to the MOU, allowing for timely information sharing, or the proactive disclosure, under exigent circumstances (i.e. imminent threat), of information about individuals and organizations for which reasonable grounds exist to suspect that they may pose a border-related threat to the safety or security of individuals in either Canada or the US. As such, it is incumbent upon the CBSA to ensure all aspects of the enforcement and intelligence process are privacy compliant with domestic legal and privacy requirements, with a specific focus on the disclosure to the FBI. The FBI's national mandate allows for the collection of data on individuals from all US states, and the MOU also allows the CBSA to have access to that information in a single location.
Protecting Your Personal Information
Within this context, the PIA has formalized the necessary measures to ensure that the CBSA respects the laws intended to protect the privacy of individuals and organizations. The CBSA will leverage the privacy protection controls that are currently in place within the existing information sharing regime (i.e. written requests; review and validation controls; transmission security controls; record keeping; and authorization protocols).
The PIA also serves to outline the identified risks which will be mitigated by protecting personal information through necessary technical, security and organizational procedures and measures. These safeguards will protect against: loss; corruption; misuse; unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction; or any other risks to the security, confidentiality or integrity of the information. Only authorized individuals with an identified purpose will be permitted to have access to personal information collected as a direct result of the MOU and accompanying PIA.
Right of Access
Individuals may formally request access to their personal information, or access to corporate records related to the wireless handhelds by filing a request with the Access to Information and Privacy Division. More information about this can be found on the Access to Information and Privacy page.
Individuals with concerns about the collection, use, disclosure or retention of their personal information may issue a complaint to the CBSA Access to Information and Privacy Division. Complaints should be made in writing, and include the individuals name, contact information, and a brief description of their concerns. Contact the Access to Information and Privacy Division at the CBSA.
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