September 30, 2016-Another Blow to Personal Privacy and Freedom of Movement

Canadian Government to Pre-Screen Air Arrivals US-Style including returning Canadians

As if the next scheduled transfer of personal financial information to the IRS is not a bad enough omen for this date, a new assault will become an ingrained part of life in North America as of September 30, 2016.

While PMJT was whooping it up in Washington D.C., Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced changes in regulations that fall under the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. These changes are a part of implementation of the Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness (2011). As must be ovbious by now, this nasty piece of business bugs me as much as FATCA does.

Airlines will now be required to provide advance and “real-time” information on anyone entering Canada by air to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), in order to cross-check with security agencies. In the event there are any discrepancies or concerns, a decision will be made prior to the time the traveller boards a flight.

This system, called the Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI ) will give CBSA the authority to identify persons who are inadmissable to Canada. Projected costs are $10 million annually. IAPI will be used to make “board/no-board” decisions on all travelers prior to their departure. This parallels the U.S. system known as Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) operating since 2009.

The regulations will require airlines to have a secure data link with the CBSA in order to provide access to the required information in the prescribed format in a “real-time” basis, including any changes to the information that may occur. Wow, yet another possible place for information to be breached. Note that credit card information will be included (see below).

Passenger reservation information will have to be provided by air carriers or travel agencies to the CBSA at least 72 hours prior to departure. I presume that if the airline fails to provide the information, the traveller will be unable to board and will not be reimbursed for any money lost from being unable to travel (hotel, vehicle reservations, etc).

As published in the Canada Gazette, here is the information that the airline must provide to CBSA. I have bolded items that I am puzzled as to relevance (if there is any at all to begin with).

Since there is nothing inherently criminal or “terrorist” oriented about any of this information, I expect what is really important, is what the CBSA has in its records (and which I presume may originate from and/or able to be shared with the US, meaning first off, CBP, DHS, FBI, CIA, etc etc). Actually, just where will this information at CBSA originate? Metadata from NSA? US no-fly lists? Any verification necessary before being applied?

I wonder what is next – strip searches by airline employees before proceeding to security? I mean, after all, one can’t be too careful.

SCHEDULE
(Paragraph 5(e))

Information About Persons in a Reservation System
1 Their surname, first name and any middle names
2 Their reservation record locator number
3 The date of their reservation and date their ticket was issued
4 Their itinerary, including the dates of departure and arrival for each segment of carriage
5 Information about their participation in a loyalty program and the benefits earned under the program, such as free tickets or upgrades
6 The number of the other passengers included in the reservation record and their surname, first name and any middle names
7 Contact information for each person mentioned in the reservation record, including the person who made the reservation
8 Billing and payment information, including credit card number and billing address
9 Information about the travel agent or agency, including the name and contact information
10 Code share information
11 Information about whether the reservation record has been divided into several records or is linked to another record
12 Their travel status, including travel confirmation and check-in status
13 Ticketing information, including the ticket number, automated ticket fare quote and whether a one-way ticket was purchased
14 Their baggage information, including the number and weight of their bags
15 Their seating information, including seat number
16 General remarks about the person in the reservation record, including other supplementary information, special service information and special service request information
17 The information referred to in paragraphs 5(a) and (b) of these Regulations
18 The history of any changes to the information referred to in items 1 to 17 of this schedule

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