Privacy Impact Assessment Summary - Statement of mutual understanding on information sharing

The purpose of the Statement of Mutual Understanding is for its signatories—Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or its successors, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or its successors, and the United States Department of State (DOS) or its successors—to exchange information for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of various laws related to immigration and citizenship. This Privacy Impact Assessment Summary describes the Statement of Mutual Understanding (SMU) on Information Sharing.

The first SMU on Information Sharing was signed by CIC, INS and DOS in November 1999. The SMU was updated in February 2003 to take into account the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that came into effect on June 28, 2002, and the new focus of both governments on a regional approach to the administration and enforcement of the immigration and citizenship laws of both countries. The SMU addresses the exchange of personal information on a case-by-case basis and allows for the proactive sharing of information. It also provides for the incorporation of annexes that will allow the systematic exchange of personal information.

The information shared must conform to the purposes of the SMU and be relevant to the request made.

Potentially, any personal information that is under the control of CIC or its successors could be disclosed for the administration and enforcement of immigration and citizenship legislations, in line with the purposes of the SMU. Similarly, personal information received from the INS or its successors, or DOS or its successors, could potentially be retained in any of the CIC personal information banks.

The privacy risks identified as part of this assessment are moderate to low and CIC maintains records in accordance with the information-sharing agreement. A manual providing information and instructions relevant to the SMU is expected to be published shortly.

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