Canda Challenges Patriot Act

David Loukidelis, British Columbia's privacy commissioner, responded to concerns regarding the implications of the USA Patriot Act on personal privacy in Canada. The Commissioner asked, "Does the USA Patriot Act permit U.S. authorities to access personal information of British Columbians that is, through the outsourcing of public services, in the custody or under the control of U.S.-linked private sector service providers?"

The Privacy Office of B.C. concluded that there is a "reasonable possibility" of unauthorized disclosure of British Columbians' personal information under the USA Patriot Act, "rigorous other measures must be put into place to mitigate against illegal and surreptitious access."

This warning was primarily directed toward the B.C. government issuing a contract to a company with a U.S. parent for the billing of medical premiums. The Commisioner also took this opportunity to criticize Canada's own anti-terrorism law passed in the wake of 9/11.

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