Jun 162012
 
 June 16, 2012  Non-U.S., Surveillance

Ian MacLeod reports:

Sections of the Ottawa airport are now wired with microphones that can eavesdrop on travellers’ conversations.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is nearing completion of a $500,000 upgrade of old video cameras used to monitor its new “customs controlled areas,” including the primary inspection area for arriving international passengers.

As part of the work, the agency is introducing audio-monitoring equipment as well.

“It is important to note that even though audio technology is installed, no audio is recorded at this time. It will become functional at a later date,” CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey said in a written statement.

Read more on Ottawa Citizen.

So where’s the statement on CBSA’s web site about how this works in terms of data retention, etc.? According to the news report, CBSA told the Citizen that there will be a notice on the web site before audio recording begins at Ottawa Airport, but:

The CBSA statement said that audio-video monitoring and recording is already in place at other unidentified CBSA sites at airports and border points of entry as part of an effort to enhance “border integrity, infrastructure and asset security and health and safety.”

So anyone recorded at those other sites had no notice in advance and has no web site notice to inform them on privacy?

I hate to see Canada following the U.S. lead of treating its citizens like potential criminals or terrorists.

It just gets worse and worse.

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