Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties Organizations Express Concerns about Government’s Contact-Tracing Announcement

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BCCLA, in collaboration with BC FIPA, CCLA, CIPPIC, ICLMG, and OpenMedia have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister and First Ministers regarding serious concerns about the Federal Government’s announcement regarding a contract-tracing application in Canada.

We are raising serious concerns with the application’s implementation and operation at a regional and national level and are calling for more research and analysis prior to the release of new federally approved contact tracing app.

The federal Privacy Commissioner’s office has not yet received the necessary information and access to the application in order to analyze and provide recommendations on it, nor has a Privacy Impact Assessment been completed or submitted to that office for review. It is highly concerning that a deployment date has been publicly announced before the federal Privacy Commissioner has been given the opportunity to comprehensively review the application and its privacy impacts.

We call on the federal government to provide the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and their provincial and territorial counterparts with the time necessary to fully analyze the application and release an assessment before the application is released to the public. In addition, prior to release, the privacy policy for the application must be clear, detailed, and understandable so users can provide informed and meaningful consent, as well as understand their privacy rights and protections. Lastly, all elements of the application’s source code must be released to the public so that the privacy and security of the initiative can be assessed.

Read our joint letter here.