A report delivered to a parliamentary committee reveals that Canadians’ smart phones were being tracked without their consent.
The movements of Canadians were closely tracked every where including to their visits with friends and family, to the store and on vacation trips inside of Canada via the smart phone mobile data. According to the Canadian Press, the analysis was developed by outbreak intelligence analysts BlueDot using anonymized data for the Public Health Agency of Canada to help “understand travel patterns during the pandemic.”
The House of Commons ethics committee was provided a report by Trudeaus government “as it probed the collection and use of mobile phone data by the public health agency”
Detailed snapshots of people’s behaviour including how much time they spent with friends and family or in different cities and provinces and more the report revealed
The report contained so much detail the MPs on the ethics committee express surprise “Questions remain about the specifics of the data provided if Canadians’ rights were violated, and what advice the Liberal government was given,” said Conservative MP Damien Kurek
The committee released a report on its overall investigation of the health agentcy gathering of phone data during the pandemic on Wednesday. It came to the conclusion that the government should inform Canadians whenever it collects data on their movements and provide them the option to opt out.
The health Agency says “is not about following individuals’ trips to a specific location, but rather in understanding whether the number of visits to specific locations have increased or decreased over time.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada previously admitted to spying on Canadians by tracking 33 million mobile devices to see if lockdown was effective.
The government used mass surveillance as “understand the public’s responsiveness during lockdown measures,” according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Due to the urgency of the pandemic the Agency collected and used mobility data such as cell tower location data throughout the Covid-19 response,” said a government spokesperson in December.
“It was to help understand possible links between the movement of populations within Canada and Covid,” they added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said in March of 2020 that while tracking Canadians was not something they were interested in at the time, that it was certainly “on the table.”
“I think we recognize that in an emergency situation we need to take certain steps that wouldn’t be taken in a non-emergency situation, but as far as I know that is not a situation we are looking at right now,” he said.
“But … all options are on the table to do what is necessary to keep Canadians safe,” he said on March 24.