Legal News

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Sends Open Letter to Solicitor General

Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has sent an open letter to the Solicitor General of Canada requesting that he direct the Commissioner of the RCMP to discontinue the video surveillance of public streets in Kelowna. This request follows the October 4, 2001 finding of the Commissioner that although the RCMP had brought itself into technical compliance with the Privacy Act, the continued surveillance by video cameras without recording violated the spirit of the statute. In that finding, the Commissioner stated:

“…the very presence of video cameras, whether they are recording at any given moment or not, is what creates the privacy-destroying sense of being observed…The level and quality of privacy in our country risks being struck a crippling, irrevocable blow if we allow ourselves to become subjected to constant, unrelenting surveillance and observation through the lens of proliferating video cameras controlled by the police or any other agents of the state.”
(Click here for link to Open Letter)

(Click here for link to speech made by Privacy Commissioner on video surveillance)

(Click here for link to speech made by Privacy Commissioner to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce)