IDforum.ca, a website hosted by the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, is currently accepting signatures on a Statement of Opposition to Bill 85, Photo Card Act, 2008. Bill 85 will allow for the creation of enhanced driver's licences and photo cards which raises privacy and civil liberties concerns as described below.
Please sign this Statement of Opposition to Bill 85, Photo Card Act, 2008, currently in Third Reading before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
To be submitted to the Legislative Assembly the week of November 17, 2008
Statement of Opposition to Ontario's Bill 85, Photo Card Act, 2008
We the undersigned organizations and individuals declare our opposition to the passage of Bill 85, Photo Card Act, 2008, as amended by the Standing Committee on General Government and presented at Third Reading, for the following reasons:
Potential privacy invasion
* The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has insisted, over strong opposition by civil libertarians and the smartcard industry, that a notoriously insecure radio frequency identification (RFID) tag be embedded in the 'enhanced' version of the proposed photo cards and drivers licenses.
* Such RFID tags contain no security or authentication features, cannot be turned off, and are designed to be read at distances of more than 10m using inexpensive and commercially available devices. Canada's Privacy Commissioners have noted that the inclusion of such tags in the proposed cards and licenses could create a significant threat of "surreptitious location tracking" of individuals. see: http://www.privcom.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2008/res_080205_e.asp
* There is also reason for further concern that the proposed 'enhanced' cards with RFID technology represent a significant step toward a national ID card scheme along the lines of the controversial REAL ID in the U.S., paving the way for greater mass population surveillance.
* The protective measures proposed by the Government (e.g. a protective sleeve) are demonstrably inadequate and constitute an unacceptable privacy risk.
* The Ontario Government's claim that the unique number stored on the RFID is a meaningless number that does not pose a significant risk for individual identification is false and misleading.
* The use of biometric facial recognition screening of all card applicants creates a significant risk of 'false matches', which could lead to innocent individuals being unjustly treated as fraud suspects. It also risks "function creep" to other biometric identification applications (e.g. use in CCTV applications).
* The Bill unnecessarily expands the range of personal information collected by the Government and permits the excessive circulation of such information among other public bodies.
Inadequate consideration of criticism and constructive proposals
* While the Government is aware of the many serious concerns about the privacy threatening aspects of the enhanced photo card initiative, and has been offered specific proposals for improving Bill 85, it has failed to amend the Bill in a manner that will sufficiently safeguard the privacy and civil liberties of Ontarians.
* In particular, the valuable recommendations of Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner to the Standing Committee on General Government have been largely ignored. see: http://www.ipc.on.ca/index.asp?navid=67&fid1=90
Inadequate demonstration of need
* It remains to be seen whether the new Obama administration will maintain the entry requirements imposed by the Bush Administration, including those that have prompted Bill 85. Accordingly, there may be no long-term utility to creating enhanced drivers licenses (EDLs) for Ontarians at this time.
* Current Canadian passports remain valid for border crossing and are a more secure and versatile alternative than the proposed EDL. The existing NEXUS program, while not without its problems, is also available to frequent border crossers at a comparable cost.
* While the government has not issued any cost estimates for the new EDL program, it would appear that establishing a new identification scheme incorporating significant technological developments will be costly. These funds could be better spent on other ways of expediting border crossing, such as reducing passport prices and wait times.
Inadequate public consultation
* Bill 85 raises complex issues of identification, privacy, security, national sovereignty and the relationship between citizens and their governments. To date, the government has failed to sufficiently inform Ontarians about the many complex issues raised by this Bill. As a result, the vigorous public debate that should take place around legislation of this nature has not occurred.
While the Bill does have worthy goals and some good features, it should not be passed by the Assembly without wider public consultation and revisions that address the concerns indicated above.
For an updated list of signatories, see the Statement of Opposition posted in the Discussion area of the IDforum.ca website
To sign onto this Statement:
1. Reply to the Statement in the Discussion area of the http://IDforum.ca website.
Organizations should list themselves as:
[Organization name] [Name of signing officer] [position of signing officer]
Individuals should list themselves as:
[Name] [Occupation] [Organization name for affiliation only, if relevant]
2. Contact a statement organizer (see list below), with the information above, who will then post this information the Discussion area of the http://IDforum.ca website.
http://IDforum.ca website administrators, will periodically consolidate these Statement replies into the posted Statement.
The Statement will be presented at a press conference at the Legislature tentatively scheduled for Tuesday Nov 18.
Chris Parsons, email@example.com
Graeme Norton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Ferenbok, email@example.com
Karen Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Boa, email@example.com
Roch Tassé, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Trew, email@example.com
Darrell Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippa Lawson, email@example.com
Adam Molnar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Steeves, Valerie.Steeves@uottawa.ca
Andrew Clement, email@example.com
Other things you might do to support this:
1. Let your friends and colleagues know about this and encourage them to sign on..
2. Let the Minister responsible for this Bill, Jim Bradley, know what you think of Bill 85:
Hon James J. Bradley
Minister of Transportation
77 Wellesley St W, 3rd Flr, Ferguson Block
Toronto ON M7A 1Z8
Toll Free 1-800-268-4686
3. Join the Facebook group, Ontarians Concerned With 'Enhanced' Drivers Licenses,