Beyond the Border Action Plan
Joint Statement of Privacy Principles
On December 7th, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced the Beyond the Border Action Plan: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness which sets out joint priorities to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across our common border.
Our countries have a long history of sharing information responsibly and respecting our separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy.
A number of initiatives and arrangements under the Beyond the Border Action Plan will require information sharing between Canada and the U.S. in order to establish a new long-term partnership built on a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness. In order to ensure that personal information continues to be shared responsibly, and in accordance with the domestic laws of both countries, an overarching statement of privacy principles was developed to guide how information will be shared in Action Plan arrangements and initiatives.
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 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was consulted in the development of these principles. The Government of Canada shares the view of the Privacy Commissioner that privacy protection is essential to address concerns of Canadians about the flow of their personal information to other countries and makes sure that these principles advance Canada's privacy agenda.
Information sharing is vital to protecting the security of our citizens and to our mutual economic prosperity and must be done in accordance with domestic law. Thestatement of privacy principles is an articulation of Canada and the United States' commitment to ensuring the proper privacy safeguards are in place for sharing information.
The Joint Statement of Privacy Principles is available at www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/brdr-strtgs/bynd-th-brdr/index-eng.aspx
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