Canada-U.S. to share 'real-time' border-crossing details

(CBSA/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)

(CBSA/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)

Daniel Proussalidis, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:34 PM ET

Canadian and American authorities will automatically be notified of every border crossing by a citizen, immigrant or visitor almost instantaneously a under vastly expanded border control system, QMI Agency has learned.

Canada and the U.S. have been sharing the names, ages, nationalities and other biographical information of all permanent residents and visitors crossing the common land border since last summer.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) documents obtained through an Access to Information request indicate that system is going to expand to track the movements of Canadian and American citizens with "near real-time" exchange of information between government agencies.

"The biographic entry data will be exchanged through an existing secure electronic channel between Canada and the U.S.," officials said in the documents.

The system will eventually expand to cover air travel as well.

"Canada will develop a system to establish exit, similar to that in the U.S., under which airlines will submit their passenger manifest information on outbound international flights," officials said.

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland provided QMI Agency with the documents.

He said the expanded system raises privacy concerns.

"This is a privacy coffin," Kurland said. "The information about where you go and when you go is now government property, which you can't access, because the system design excludes oversight and appeal."

The CBSA acknowledged in its documents that the expansion of the system will require "additional privacy analysis."

The agency also said the full system will give it "the ability to identify individuals who potentially overstay their lawful period of stay" and to keep track of deportees.


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