Is the government checking you out on Facebook?

Andrea Janus
CTV News: May 8, 2014

It may not just be your ex who is creeping your Facebook page. Canada’s privacy commissioner says government agencies are collecting “personal information from social networking sites” that does not directly relate to government business.

Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier outlined her concerns to Treasury Board Secretary Tony Clement in a letter obtained by CTV News that is dated Feb. 13. According to Bernier, not only collecting the information, but they are not taking steps to ensure its accuracy.

“We are seeing evidence that personal information is being collected by government institutions from social media sites without regard for accuracy, currency or accountability,” Bernier writes, noting that social media users have “a certain expectation of privacy.”

“Should information culled from these sites be used to make administrative decisions about individuals, it is incumbent upon government institutions to ensure the accuracy of this information; it is not at all clear that this obligation is being, or could be, met.”

In a statement emailed Thursday evening to CTV News, Bernier said it “is increasingly important to develop guidelines to clarify privacy protections with respect to the collection of publicly available personal information from social media sites.”

Bernier has also asked that some government departments that have proposed collecting personal information from social media sites “to justify the need for such information.”

About two weeks before she sent her letter to Clement, Bernier released a report to Parliament warning that Canada’s spy agencies need more oversight and better guidelines as new surveillance tools give them access to more information than ever before.

(Read the full article at CTV News)

Alternative Free Press -fair use-