It recently came to light that in 2011 alone, the Canadian government issued requests from various internet service providers for data on more than 785,000 citizens. Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, this data is legally obtainable for individuals, but the process has heretofore been onerous.
A new tool, launched in partnerships by OpenMedia, Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Digital Stewardship Commission, automates the process of requesting that information.
Dubbed “Access My Info,” the service is hosted by OpenMedia, a consumer advocacy group looking to hold the government and the telcos accountable. Users can follow the prompts to submit a request to obtain one’s information, if there is any. Users will need to provide their account numbers, which will in turn generate a letter or email that needs to be mailed, depending on the service provider.
Privacy is undoubtedly a sticky issue in Canada of late, with federal bill C-13, purportedly an anti-cyberbullying law, giving authorities easier access to obtaining ISP subscribers’ information. While a recent Supreme Court decision that guarantees users’ privacy on the internet will surely be a setback for the government’s efforts to pass the bill, Canadians should know that they are legally allowed to get their information if desired.
Source: Access My Info