National News

Declaration urges respect for privacy

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - One of the voices behind a new declaration on mass surveillance says Canada needs a commission of inquiry to ensure governments and corporations respect privacy in an era of big data.

Prof. David Murakami Wood of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., says it's time for an in-depth look at how organizations routinely collect and sort huge amounts of personal information.

Murakami Wood, a member of the university's Surveillance Studies Centre, joined other academics and civil libertarians in publishing the seven-point Ottawa Statement aimed at improving accountability.

The statement calls for a public process to come up with a comprehensive legal framework for information and privacy rights, building on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and United Nations principles.

Murakami Wood says governments need to keep some secrets.

But he argues the systems of accountability and regulation themselves cannot be hidden from the public.

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