Privacy Impact Assessment Summary – Electronic Validation of Citizenship and Immigration Information with Federal and Provincial Institutions

(Amendment to Privacy Impact Assessment Summary – Electronic Validation of Citizenship Information with Federal Government Institutions)

A Privacy Impact Assessment was conducted for the implementation of the expansion of electronic validation and disclosure of personal information that validates the status and confirms the identity of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) clients with other federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) government institutions. The validation project aims to modernize how CIC communicates information with partners, to increase program integrity by providing a method of real time validation of status information, and to reduce program costs by simplifying internal procedures and lowering operational costs.

Electronic validation of citizenship status information began on February 1, 2012, to coincide with the introduction of the new citizenship certificate. The first departments to receive access to the electronic system were the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and Passport Program (previously called Passport Canada). The Passport Program is a shared responsibility between Service Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Service Canada administers the issuance of Social Insurance Number.

As of August 1, 2012, CIC expanded the sharing of citizenship status information to other FPT institutions for the purposes of determining an applicant’s eligibility for a benefit or entitlement. At the same time CIC began validating immigration status information electronically with these same FPTs, starting with persons who were issued Confirmation of Permanent Residence for a period of one year after their landing in Canada.

As of December 15, 2012, CIC began validating the status of protected persons with the Passport Program for the purpose of issuing Refugee Travel Documents.

The privacy analysis found that information management procedures and policies for personal information for the expansion of electronic validation of citizenship or immigration status are compliant with the Privacy Act, the 10 privacy principles related to personal information, and TBS Policy on Privacy and Data Protection.

CIC has put in place strategies, processes and security measures to:

  • protect the information of document holders;
  • reduce the likelihood of inadvertent release of information to a third party; and
  • protect individuals from having their status document or information used by another person (identity theft).

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