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    Vancouver Sun (Canada): Privacy watchdog to investigate treatment of travellers at airports

    The Vancouver Sun reports that Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart will investigate the adequacy of privacy protection for air travelers:

    Stoddart said “identity management” for citizens and consumers in the online world remains a priority — but so do national-security issues. That’s why Stoddart’s office is conducting an air-travel security audit focusing on the government agency in charge of passenger screening, she said Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a congratulatory note about her reappointment being approved by Parliament.

    In the case of the new full-body airport scanners — dubbed “naked scanners” by detractors — the audit will determine whether the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is following through on promises made to minimize the privacy intrusions of this new technology.

    For example, the agency agreed that no record of the image would be kept and no personal information, such as a passenger’s name or boarding pass number, would be associated with the scanned image. […]

    The air-travel security audit will also look at the use of surveillance cameras at airports. Stoddart also added: “Some new issues include things like bar codes on boarding (passes) — how is this personal information managed?”

    “That’s what’s challenging about airports. Some things are publicly regulated and some things are private and commercial.”

    The air-travel security audit about how CATSA manages privacy issues, to be published next fall, was launched after Stoddart’s office published a reference document last month to provide guidance to government agencies and departments about how to integrate privacy protections with new public safety and national security objectives.

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