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When digital ID intertwines with biometrics... by Pierrette Séguin

The C.P.U. Chronicles - October 2022

Canadians being in the midst of the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC). It is useful to talk about the tools used to counter domestic terrorism, as referred to by the Commission.

Globally, human rights defenders and civil societies are increasingly victims of digital surveillance. Authorities, like those in Canada, buy and authorize the sale of intrusive surveillance technologies that can compromise anyone's digital devices and monitor their activities. Obviously, this concerns all of us.

These tracking devices are designed and sold by private companies who profit from them, very often to the detriment and violation of human rights.

The private surveillance industry often operates without oversight. Not only have all countries failed in their obligations to protect their citizens from these human rights violations, but they have also failed in their own state obligations, allowing these invasive control tools to compromise the privacy of citizens around the world.

The Canadian RCMP currently uses spyware that allows it to access all data from a cell phone it hacks, and can instantly activate its camera and microphone. The RCMP refuses to disclose the spyware used.

A culture of impunity specific to targeted digital surveillance has therefore developed and must be fought by Canadians. There is an urgent need to demand an immediate end to illegal surveillance to protect our rights.

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