May 22, 2012
The members of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) -- Canada’s Association for Information Technology (IT) Practitioners, are concerned about the proposed legislative changes in Bill C-30. CIPS is a national organization with provincial associations, which are the legislated registration organization for the IT professional.
As IT professionals, we have the knowledge and understanding (expertise) of how communications and information on computer and related systems can be accessed and how these systems can and will be used in criminal acts and fraud. We also recognize that we, as a nation, must address and meet the challenge of people with the motivation and capability to use information and communications technology for criminal and terrorism acts.
Our primary concern with the proposed legislation is in relationship to the privacy of personal information. The CIPS Code of Ethics requires our members to:
- protect the public interest and discharge with integrity all duties and services owed to the public, CIPS members, other IT professionals and clients.
- treat the public interest as paramount and that it must prevail when there is conflict with other obligations
CIPS urges the Government of Canada to:
- prohibit access to personal information, related records/data, content, communications or records of internet use without the safeguard of a warrant;
- not offer legal immunity to companies that disclose personal information without a warrant. We believe this would encourage inappropriate 'fishing expeditions;'
- ensure personal data is not used for purposes other than security and law enforcement;
- ensure the strong legal governance of inspectors and their associates;
- ensure adequate judicial authorization and accountability provisions in order to preserve the vital elements of openness and transparency fundamental to Canada’s free and democratic society;
- ensure the destruction of personal information, related information and records as soon as they are no longer required; and
- ensure adequate fiscal controls and monitoring so as to not negatively impact industries and users that rely on services from telecommunications service providers affected by this bill.
We are unaware of cases where there has been difficulty in obtaining a warrant where reasonable and probable grounds are shown.
We urge the Government of Canada to initiate a formal consultation process with stakeholders and experts to ensure the privacy of personal data while keeping Canada and its other nation partners secure and able to enforce the law.