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Visa Information-Sharing Agreement Signed

TRAVELERS’ PRIVACY—CANADA & U.S.

December 17, 2012

In a ceremony on Thursday, Canada and the U.S. signed a treaty to share data about visa applicants and asylum seekers including biometric information, name, birth date and gender, reports the Canadian Press. Canada’s privacy commissioner has raised concerns that the information could end up in the wrong hands, possibly endangering applicants and their families. However, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stressed that the agreement comes with “rigorous privacy safeguards” that ensure data will be shared in accordance with Canadian law. The agreement states that either country may share data with a domestic court for immigration purposes or with a third country, but only with the approval of the providing country.
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