Home / CBSA says it’s business as usual despite civil liberties group’s online form

CBSA says it’s business as usual despite civil liberties group’s online form

By Kate Webb/MetroNews.ca
Published on May 29, 2013
Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eric Dreger. Protesters rally outside Force Four Entertainment in Vancouver on March 28, 2013, calling for the cancellation of the TV show Border Security.

Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) says it will pay no mind to a new third-party online form designed to give travellers the option to refuse or revoke permission to be filmed by the controversial documentary series Border Security.

The show is currently filming in B.C. at the Douglas and Pacific Highway Traffic crossings, as well as the Vancouver airport, and anyone who does not wish to be filmed can alert camera crews. Those who are filmed are blurred out when the show airs, unless they sign a legal release.

Josh Paterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, called a press conference Tuesday announcing the creation of an online form for those who think or know they have already been filmed, or intend to cross the border in future.

The forms, which the BCCLA promises to forward to CBSA and production company Force Four Entertainment, deny both organizations permission to collect, use or disclose any data or images of the signatory for the purposes of the show.

Four hundred people signed it on the first day.

“The BCCLA form mentioned is not a CBSA or Force Four product and the CBSA was not involved in the process to develop it,” said senior CBSA spokesman Esme Bailey in an email to Metro, when asked whether the agency would heed the wishes of signatories.

“…If an individual does not want to be filmed at all — whether they are identifiable or not — they are able to notify the film crew as such.”

Paterson alleged Tuesday that forcing travellers to interact with a non-government entity on federal property is a breech of the Privacy Act, and that people who are being questioned by border guards cannot give meaningful consent to participate because of the imbalance of power.

He added Wednesday that if the show continues to film, CBSA must facilitate some sort of system giving people the ability to opt out in advance of approaching the border, whether by using the data provided in the BCCLA form or designing its own.

But the BCCLA’s ultimate goal is to see the show cancelled, since it believes CBSA’s cooperation with an entertainment company is a violation of the Privacy Act.