Well, this certainly doesn’t instill confidence in Canadian banks and the Canadian government around financial privacy.
In a report to Parliament today, Jennifer Stoddart, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, reported FINTRAC Collects Too Much Information On Innocent Canadians.
I had no idea there even was a Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre. Did anyone else know that?
By law, Canadian banks, casinos and thousands of other businesses are required to report all financial transactions over $10,000, and any movement of money they suspect may be linked to terrorism or laundering the proceeds of crime.
What?!? Does that mean that the money I transferred from my bank to my credit union recently had to be reported to FINTRAC?
The article also says:
Instead, Stoddart’s investigators found everyday financial transactions of ordinary Canadians — things such as down payments for homes and cars, and wire transfers from families overseas to their children studying here.
Stoddart’s report points out that FINTRAC has amassed over 165 million reports containing personal information about financial transactions.
Civil Liberties groups are on it.
Civil liberties advocates say that likely means that thousands of innocent Canadians have been put under a cloud of suspicion, lumped in with suspected money launderers and terrorist financiers.
This is beginning to sound something like FATCA.