"The pendulum has swung WAY too far in the direction of limiting our privacy. Standards need to be adjusted to make privacy the default and transparency must be mandatory."When we asked people to rank six key privacy priorities, two in particular stood out: Require a warrant for government to spy on personal information, and End blanket surveillance of law-abiding people. Accordingly, we focused first and foremost on tackling these key concerns, while also leaving space to address the range of other problems Canadians raised. Based on this wealth of grassroots feedback, the report sets out three high-level policy recommendations to roll back our privacy deficit:
Get a Warrant: Require government authorities to obtain a warrant to access Canadians' sensitive personal information. The report also proposes tougher privacy laws to roll back the information disclosure provisions of Bill C-51 and ensure government agencies use personal information strictly for the purpose it is provided. Despite the Supreme Court's R. v. Spencer decision last year, much work remains to be done to prevent warrantless access to Canadians' information.
End Mass Surveillance: Halt all surveillance activities that involve the warrantless collection of Canadians' personal information, including the bulk collection of deeply revealing metadata. We also propose that surveillance activities require judicial, not political authorization, and that the government cease collecting and analyzing what Canadians say on social media.
Embrace Accountability: Ensure strong, independent oversight and review bodies for the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Rein in the steep costs of surveillance by requiring the Parliamentary Budget Officer and Auditor General to develop clear cost projections for surveillance activities.
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