Fingerprint-sharing plan raises privacy concerns

Officials to trade data internationally to curb immigration fraud

By Mike Blanchfield, Canwest News Service
August 22, 2009

Calling asylum seekers a “vulnerable group,” Canada’s privacy commissioner expressed concern Friday about a new government plan to share fingerprint information with Britain and Australia to combat immigration fraud.

The three-country agreement was announced Friday with little fanfare, with Canada and the two countries providing assurances that no one’s privacy would be violated and that no database for the prints would be created.

A lawyers’ group in Australia also raised privacy concerns about the plan, which the United States and New Zealand were expected to join later on.

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