Thursday, 30 October 2003

Canada to remove privacy clause from CRS regulations

Transport Canada has published proposed revisions to the Canadian Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) Regulations in the Canada Gazette .

Section 28 (2) of the current regulations provides as follows:

Personal Booking Information

28. (2) A system vendor shall not make personal information about a passenger available to others not involved in a booking without the consent of the passenger.

According to the text and analysis of the proposed new regulations , "Section 28 of the current Regulations regarding personal information is considered redundant given the force and effect of the Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act , and it is therefore proposed that the section be repealed. "

It would be good if a general privacy law could obviate the need for separate privacy clauses in sector-specific laws and regulations. And certainly this action in Canada points up the need for a privacy section in the CRS regulations currently under review and amendment in the USA, since unlike Canada the USA doesn't have any general privacy law to cover travel records.

But without knowing anything about the nuances of Canadian Law, I'm somewhat concerned that the privacy clause in the CRS regulations, now proposed to be eliminated, seems at first glance to have fewer loopholes or exceptions than the Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act , and thus might have some continued significance for the rights of Canadian travellers against non-consensual "sharing" of their travel records.

Interestingly, the European Union, depsite having a general data privacy directive similar to the Canadian privacy law, has retained language in the EU CRS regulations -- see Article 6 (d) -- virtually identical to Section 28 (2) of the Canadian CRS regulations.

According to this press release from Transport Canada , "The proposed changes were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on October 25, 2003. Following publication in the Canada Gazette Part I , there is a 30-day period for the public to respond. After consideration of the comments, the regulations will be finalized and published in the Canada Gazette Part II. "

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 30 October 2003, 10:54 (10:54 AM) | TrackBack (0)
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All advice and recommendations are the personal opinions of Edward Hasbrouck, and do not necessarily represent the views of my publishers, employers, or clients.