The Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed the opening of an Office of Biometrics under new regulations that will embed computer chips in new passports.
An estimated 22.9 million Canadians hold a passport.
According to Blacklock's Reporter,
Exit Information Regulations will see the Agency use computer chips embedded in new passports to monitor every citizen who travels out of Canada. In-house research identified widespread opposition to the program.
“Future initiatives will include a consent-based model to ensure travelers understand how their information is collected, used, retained and disclosed,” said Louis-Carl Brissette Lesage, spokesperson for the Agency. Costs were not disclosed.
The Notice of Proposed Procurement posted to the government's procurement site describes the need for the office as “urgent”:
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has an urgent need to secure the services of a global organization (the “Contractor”) with knowledge of and expertise in biometrics. The Agency requires this organization to assist with the immediate establishment of an Office of Biometrics and Identity Management and to work with the Agency in researching, planning for and rapidly developing a strategy and roadmap related to the use of Digital solutions enabled by supporting technologies in biometrics, in response to the COVID 19 situation and other operational priorities.
The Contractor will bring knowledge, capabilities, and experience to support CBSA’s urgent need to establish a biometric strategy, biometric foundation and ultimately a Biometrics Authority (Centre of Excellence). Specifically, the “contractor” will assist the CBSA with the development of a comprehensive approach and plan to manage, evolve and adapt in using biometrics to deliver the mission of the agency while considering our interrelationship and joint ventures with other federal government departments and agencies and our international partners.