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Don’t divulge data, Dalton

An op-ed piece in the Toronto Star this morning caught my eye. It’s written by Thomas Walkom, and it takes Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to task for being willing to introduce a new driver’s license that is full of information on the person that owns it and hand it over to the US government. Apparently Mcguinty feels if he doesn’t do this, American tourists will stop coming to Ontario. Walkom feels that a) these new driver’s license wont address the problem of Americans who need passports to get back home, and b) that we shouldnt be giving data to a US government that’s been very questionable in how it handles data and how it handles itself in general.

I rather agree – we’ve a government in the US that has misused information (and admittedly wrong information) from Canada to send Maher Ahar overseas to be tortured.. and we have a US government that will now deny habeus corpus rights to foreigners that it imprisons due to whatever suspcions they hold about the persons – whether they’re legitimate or not. Do we want to be giving information on our citizens to the US the way things are right now? I dont think so.

As Walkom says:

….fearful America has gone badly astray. It has become a dangerous country run by an even more dangerous government. Already, many Ontarians who are Muslim – or who look Muslim – avoid travelling to the U.S. They fear, not unreasonably, that what happened to Arar might happen to them. In this world, it does not make sense to gather a lot of information on drivers – including those who never plan to visit the U.S. – and then hand over all of it to Washington. We gain little. We risk much. Why do it?

Well put. Don’t do it. Dont divulge data, Dalton. (Not at least til we see who’s running the show in Jan/09).


2 comments to Don’t divulge data, Dalton

  • :em67:

    Let me read that again.

    You agree with me? I’d better write the date and time down for a record of this.

  • Scott, I agree fully with you. It has not been thought out at all, and is only a PR measure. That was very apparent when the Minister was scrummed. Absolutely vacant answers.

    Regardless of whether DL data is “secure” in a government setting (doubtful), I’m not keen on having them used for border (or other forms of) ID. We have a passport for that. Health card for OHIP/OOP medical payments. Library cards, etc.

    When one card comes close to being the universal tie in of all your data, I get very worried. SINs have almost been successful, but that is eroding slowly.

    So, yeah, I agree and go even further than your post.

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