Yesterday (July 11), the Government of Canada and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection began exchanging basic biographic entry information (such as full names and date of birth) on all travellers at the land border, so that entry into one country serves as an exit record from the other.
According to the Canadian government, the new initiative will help Canada make better, timely decisions on border management, law enforcement, national security, citizenship applications, immigration, and social services.
It's also a direct result of the coming into force of Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act, and associated regulations, which provide authorities for the CBSA to collect exit information on all travellers departing Canada, including Canadians.
Is privacy at risk?
The collection and exchange of basic biographic information will be seamless to travellers.
The CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have signed an information sharing memorandum of understanding, which includes safeguards and protections on the exchange of biographic entry data for entry/exit by land mode only.
Information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The use of this information is restricted to specific purposes by law.
Good to know
- An exit record consists of basic biographic information, typically found on page 2 of a passport, along with the date, time and location of exit.
- Stakeholder consultation was undertaken as part of the regulatory development process to ensure Canadians and industry stakeholders had the opportunity to submit their views and comments prior to the publication and implementation of the Exit Information Regulations for those who leave the country by land.
- Exit legislation aligns Canada with its international partners, including the U.S., the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, who have, or are in the process of, implementing entry/exit information systems.
- Regulatory amendments for those who leave the country by air are expected to come into force in summer 2020. Once fully implemented, Canada will collect basic exit information directly from air carriers through passenger manifests but will not share them with the U.S.
For more information on the Entry/Exit Initiative, click here.
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