October 10th, 2013

Statement from NDP Digital Issues Critic Charmaine Borg

The NDP welcomes the formation of the ProtectOurPrivacy.ca Coalition. Canadians have come together and launched this pro-privacy coalition to demonstrate just how important it is to protect their personal information.

Recent revelations about Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) activities at home and abroad have heightened privacy and oversight concerns.

Government has a duty to protect Canadians’ privacy but the Conservatives’ attitude towards this is alarming. Since the Conservatives came to power, the personal information of over one million Canadians has been compromised – in over 3,000 privacy breaches.

Employees from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) lost a USB key containing the personal information of over 500,000 Canadians in November of 2012 but there was no formal investigation until January 2013.

Worse yet, it was only after questioning from the NDP that it was revealed that there had been thousands of other data breaches across the federal government, many of which were never disclosed to either the Privacy Commissioner or the thousands of Canadians who were put at risk.

The NDP has introduced new legislation that would require departments to report breaches to the Privacy Commissioner, and inform individuals if their personal information may have been compromised. We look forward to working with this coalition to force the Conservatives to start taking privacy seriously.