Beyond the Border Action Plan
Joint Statement of Privacy Principles
Ottawa, Ontario, June 28, 2012 – Today, the Joint Statement of Privacy Principles was released by the Governments of Canada and the United States under the Beyond the Border Action Plan: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The Action Plan wasannounced by Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the President of the United States, Barack Obama, in December 2011.
The Joint Statement of Privacy Principles, which is inspired by similar international standards and guidelines on privacy, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data, will consistently guide and inform specific initiatives and arrangements under the Beyond the Border Action Plan. They represent an important step forward by creating a framework of common rules for the cross-border sharing of personal information. The principles provide Canadians and Americans the rules under which our two governments will collaborate to protect their privacy rights in implementing the Action Plan.
"These principles put privacy at the forefront of the Border Action Plan and will help to ensure that the privacy rights of Canadians are respected as we work with the United States to secure our perimeter while accelerating and improving the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across our border," said the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. "With over 200,000 people crossing our border every day and $500 billion worth of two-way trade every year, these principles establish a new long-term partnership built on a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness."
The Joint Statement of Privacy Principles, which was developed by Public Safety Canada, the Department of Justice Canada, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice, consists of 12 principles. Some of the highlights of the principles include reference to:
- maintaining all reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information, and the continued right to have access and to request corrections of errors;
- proper security safeguards for information;
- relevance and necessity in the collection of personal information;
- redress before existing national authorities where a person believes that his/her privacy has been infringed; and
- effective oversight in the form of a public supervisory authority/authorities.
The principles demonstrate the continued strong collaboration between Canada and the U.S. in their efforts to balance national security and economic prosperity.
The privacy principles reflect our privacy laws. In agreeing to these principles, both countries remain committed to protecting privacy in the initiatives undertaken, and to ensuring that information sharing pursued in the various action plan initiatives include the proper safeguards. Canada and the U.S. have a long history of sharing information while respecting their separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy.
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