Canada postpones installation of recording devices in airports and border crossings

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The Canadian government has decided to postpone their plans to install new cameras and audio recording devices at border crossings and airports.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced that he had told the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to postpone the plans until a study of the privacy implications is complete.

"I share the concerns of Canadians regarding the privacy impact of audio recordings, even when it occurs in a restricted area in an airport," Toews said.

Toews' decision came after the CBSA mistakenly activated the camera and audio recording devices at Stanfield International Airport and recorded a conversation between an agent and a traveller.

"All these recordings have been deleted," said one official, who asked not to be named.

According to Assistant privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier, in order to satisfy the privacy office, the CBSA must provide evidence that there is a need to collect audio and video recordings of travellers and show that the information collected will be handled properly.

While surveillance cameras are a common sight in airports and border crossings, many argue that the introduction of microphones takes things too far. Additionally, travellers have already expressed concerns about the government's plan to record conversations at airports and border crossings.

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