Canada’s Road to Beijing: The digital threat to the Charter rights and freedoms of Canadians

Canada is moving quickly toward a greater reliance on digital identification (digital ID) and digital currency technologies to form the basis of the relationship between state and citizen. Like physical ID, digital ID technologies allow users to prove their identity and to access services and goods. But digital ID is more comprehensive than physical ID, capturing data attributes such as (for example) usernames and passwords, birth dates, social security numbers, medical histories, online search activities, and even purchasing behaviors. These technologies enable Canadian governments to access vital personal and financial information about Canadian citizens and to store this information in databases. Further, these technologies arm Canadian governments to act upon what they know about their citizens: to intervene in their affairs and, in some cases, to place unjustified restrictions on their Charter-protected rights and freedoms.

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