There is a fairly confusing article on EDLs that was published by the Times & Transcript’s Alan Cochrane. It’s absolutely rife with inaccuracies about the technologies about EDLs, which contributes to the rampant misinformation about these identification pieces. Before I get to that, I want to note pieces of information that look interesting, though their accuracy has to be taken as questionable given the sloppy work done throughout the article.
Apparently the New Brunswick government’s support of EDLs has ‘waned’ after receiving some report or another. While the reporter doesn’t mention the report by name, I have a suspicion that it’s the report commissioned by the Atlantic registrars of motor vehicles that was referenced in the May 9, 2008 press release of the Council of Atlantic Premiers. That report has not been disclosed to the public. (I lack anything that would substantiate or disprove the claim that New Brunswick’s interest has waned; I also don’t know what the report stated and so can’t know if it would influence the government’s position.)
Service Nova Scotia has stated that the province is looking into EDLs, but as of yet does not have a deployment timeline. (I lack information that would substantiate or disprove this claim.)
Manitoba is taking applications for EDLs right now, and will begin shipping them in 2 weeks. (This definitely seems on the money, and we can presume that it is accurate.)
In his recent discussion with Ann Cauvoukian, Jesse Brown seems to have touched on a nerve. In the interview, the Commissioner discusses the use of self-encrypting/decrypting security systems that are meant to meet her ‘PET Plus’ program; she wants to ensure that measures are embedded in surveillance technologies that secure individuals’ privacy while at the same time enabling police to perform their duties. In the case of cameras, this will mean that all bodies on the screen are barely visible – not blurred, but almost erased from a non-decrypted viewing. Individuals are only revealed on film when a decryption algorithm is applied; until then, those individuals hold a spectre-like existence.
As I noted a few days ago, the Saskatchewan government is debating whether or not they want to implement EDLs given the privacy and financial risks that accompany the licenses. It seems as though the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is supporting this hesitancy, with the assistant privacy commissioner;
. . . is applauding the province’s decision to back away from the enhanced licences until legislation addresses concerns about how personal information is used and how vulnerable it is to hackers.
“It’s highly significant,” Bernier said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “The province seems to come to the conclusion … that the cost-benefit analysis is not convincing.” (Source)
It will be interesting to see whether or not Saskatchewan reintroduces EDL legislation after Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner manages to implement an ‘on/off’ switch that she has been talking about with Jesse Brown for the pastfew weeks. My suspicion is that they will, but that they will let Ontario do the heavy lifting in this area (I expect that Ontario’s influence with DHS will be more substantial than Saskatchewan, but maybe that isn’t/won’t be the case).
Google is persistently in the limelight for it’s ‘invasions’ of personal privacy. I’ve made references to Google and privacy in a variety of blogposts, but whenever I think about Google my mind returns to a comment from Peter Fleischer, the chief privacy officer for Google. In a post in 2007, he wrote (in his personal blog) that:
. . . privacy is about more than legal compliance, it’s fundamentally about user trust. Be transparent with your users about your privacy practices. If your users don’t trust you, you’re out of business (Source)
Perhaps naively, I think that this statement is accurate – look at the nightmares that Facebook, NebuAd, and Phorm (to name a few) all have when they ‘invade’ customers’ privacy without being fully transparent about what, and why, they are engaging in their practices. What’s more, as soon as you establish an ‘it’s our way, or no way’ approach, you immediate establish a hostile environment between you and your users. In business, your users are your lifeblood; alienate them only if you really like polishing your resume.
The Canadian SIGINT Summaries includes downloadable copies, along with summary, publication, and original source information, of leaked CSE documents.
Parsons, Christopher; and Molnar, Adam. (2021). “Horizontal Accountability and Signals Intelligence: Lesson Drawing from Annual Electronic Surveillance Reports,” David Murakami Wood and David Lyon (Eds.), Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence: The Canadian Case.
Parsons, Christopher. (2015). “Stuck on the Agenda: Drawing lessons from the stagnation of ‘lawful access’ legislation in Canada,” Michael Geist (ed.), Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (Ottawa University Press).
Parsons, Christopher. (2015). “The Governance of Telecommunications Surveillance: How Opaque and Unaccountable Practices and Policies Threaten Canadians,” Telecom Transparency Project.
Parsons, Christopher. (2015). “Beyond the ATIP: New methods for interrogating state surveillance,” in Jamie Brownlee and Kevin Walby (Eds.), Access to Information and Social Justice (Arbeiter Ring Publishing).
Bennett, Colin; Parsons, Christopher; Molnar, Adam. (2014). “Forgetting and the right to be forgotten” in Serge Gutwirth et al. (Eds.), Reloading Data Protection: Multidisciplinary Insights and Contemporary Challenges.
Bennett, Colin, and Parsons, Christopher. (2013). “Privacy and Surveillance: The Multi-Disciplinary Literature on the Capture, Use, and Disclosure of Personal information in Cyberspace” in W. Dutton (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies.
McPhail, Brenda; Parsons, Christopher; Ferenbok, Joseph; Smith, Karen; and Clement, Andrew. (2013). “Identifying Canadians at the Border: ePassports and the 9/11 legacy,” in Canadian Journal of Law and Society 27(3).
Parsons, Christopher; Savirimuthu, Joseph; Wipond, Rob; McArthur, Kevin. (2012). “ANPR: Code and Rhetorics of Compliance,” in European Journal of Law and Technology 3(3).