Monday, February 26, 2007

No Privacy in the Digital Age: Canada/US Info Sharing

/. reports:

New information sharing agreements have made it as easy for a Canadian border officer to know the full criminal records of US citizens as it is for their local police. As a result, Canadian officials are turning away American visitors for ancient minor convictions, including 30-year-old shoplifting and minor drug possession convictions. Officials claim it's always been illegal to enter Canada with such convictions without getting special dispensation, they just had no good way of knowing about them until recent security agreements allowed access. One attorney speculates it's not long before this information will be shared with other countries as well, causing immigration hassles worldwide.

What's really better for Canada? Tourism or protection against convicts of minor 30-year-old crimes?

Worse still, an old BoingBoing article points out that many of the privacy laws that do exist are not being followed. So Canadian officials have more information to carelessly share. Wonderful.