Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

The Government Of Canada Keeps Secret Files Of Your Personal Information, Here's How To Access Them

The RCMP, CSIS, and CBSA all collect personal data.
Senior Editor
The Government Of Canada Keeps Secret Files Of Your Personal Information, Here's How To Access Them

Today, the Center for Law and Democracy released its latest Global Right To Information Rating, which ranks every country in the world according to measurements of government transparency.

ALSO READ: Canada Could Be On The Verge Of A Major Housing Crisis

TL;DR The RCMP, CSIS, and CBSA collect personal information about Canadians. Here's how to access your personal files.

Canada has fallen to 56th place globally.

The report notes that, "as a country that was once among the world's leaders in government openness, it is unfortunate that Canada has dropped so far down the list."

Still, Canadians can take comfort in the fact that their country scored well above the United States, which, at 69th place, has quickly become infamous for its accessibility issues and corruption.

Despite such a poor performance in the Global Right to Information Rating, Canada still has a relatively impressive mechanism through which its citizens can request information both public and private, including detailed files of personal data.

Through the Access to Information and Privacy Online Request, Canadians can order files from thirty-three government agencies.

Among the most notable of those agencies are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

All of these agencies claim to collect the "personal information" of citizens and residents.

Canadians can submit requests for their personal files through Access To Information Requests on their official websites. However, each agency makes clear that they have the power to deny those requests.

Some of the information that the RCMP collects, according to its website:

  • home address
  • age
  • race, ethnic and national origin
  • credit card numbers
  • criminal records
  • educational history
  • financial history
  • fingerprints
  • medical history
  • any identifiable number, including social insurance number
  • names
  • religious beliefs
  • telephone numbers
  • employment history within a non-governmental organization
  • views or opinions of another individual

Some of these items, including credit card numbrs and "views or opinions of another individual," are particularly concerning.

The CBSA collects passenger travel information, according to its own portal for personal information requests.

The CSIS, interestingly, seems to have removed from its website the portal through which Canadians can request personal information. The link to relevant applications appears to be broken. 

CSIS officials did not immediately respond for comment.

In the meantime, you can request your file of personal information from the RCMP here and the CBSA here.

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.

Loading...