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Privacy Commissioner of Canada on Bill C-30

Wednesday, February 13, 2013   by: Kate AdamsPrivacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart issued the following statement Monday:

"Yesterday, federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that Bill C-30, the government's lawful access legislation, would not be proceeding in Parliament.

When the Bill was tabled last year, Canadians reacted strongly against it and expressed their concerns that it would have a significantly negative impact on their fundamental right to privacy.

We are very pleased to see that the government has responded to those concerns.

Our office has been working on this issue for many years.

We have expressed concerns that Bill C-30 would have enabled law enforcement to gain warrantless access to subscriber information, such as an IP address.

The bill's proponents suggested this was akin to information in a phone book.

Our office's technologists have looked at the degree of privacy intrusiveness in relation to the specific information that the bill had proposed to make readily accessible to police.

We've seen that an IP address can, in fact, provide a starting point to compile a picture of an individual's online activities including, for example, online services for which an individual has registered, personal interests based on websites visited, organizational affiliations and even physical location.

Given this, the announcement related to Bill C-30 is a welcome development for privacy in Canada, and I applaud the many Canadians who spoke out about their concerns with the Bill and their deep attachment to their privacy rights."

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