Canada Dashboard Digest

Sharing of Licence-Plate Data Sparks Probe

SURVEILLANCE

August 31, 2012

British Columbia’s privacy commissioner is investigating a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) practice of sharing licence-plate data collected at the U.S.-Canadian border with insurance companies, reports CTV News. Licence plates of all cars crossing the border are scanned, and records show that CBP has been sharing this data with the National Insurance Crime Bureau—an industry nonprofit made up of most U.S. insurance agencies—since 2005. CBP says it is acting within the law and the data is only given on a need-to-know basis, but civil liberties groups are voicing concerns, noting this is “one example of data flowing to people you might not have expected.”
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