Dec 01 2010

Testimony to the Canadian Parliament on US access to travel data

Edward Hasbrouck of the Identity Project testified yesterday on behalf of the Liberty Coalition at a hearing before the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities on Bill C-42, which — as we’ve discussed previously — would override Canada’s “Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act” (PIPEDA) to permit airlines to give personal information about passengers to the government of any country whose airspace a flight would pass through, even if it didn’t land in that country.

Bill C-42 was proposed by the government, but is being opposed by some within Parliament as well as civil liberties and human rights activists and (along with the US Secure Flight scheme) by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The English-language audio archive of the hearing is here; the complete transcript is here. Mr. Hasbrouck’s introductory statement is from 24:45 to 35:15 of the audio stream; he was also questioned extensively by the members of the Committee.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, the invitation to testify arrived too late for the requisite translation into French of any written notes or supporting documents. For more background on the information architecture and cross-border data flows of the airline industry, see the slides from Mr. Hasbrouck’s more detailed testimony on related issues earlier this year at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Here’s the transcript of our introductory statement:

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