CSIS: Proposed privacy act changes could impair ability to collect citizen data

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Canada's spy agency is worried proposed changes to the Privacy Act could impair its ability to collect and use information about citizens.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service details its concerns in a submission to the Justice Department that was obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act.

C-SIS is recommending that any reforms include special language that takes into account the -- quote -- ``critical public interest'' in its national security activities.

Agency director David Vigneault writes in a cover letter that possible changes to the Privacy Act outlined in federal discussion papers could significantly impact the work of national security and investigative agencies, including C-SIS.

C-SIS expresses particular concern about defining personal information in the law in an overly broad way, potentially making the intelligence service's job more difficult.

The Privacy Act governs how federal agencies collect, use and disclose personal information and gives people the right to see, and correct, such data the government holds about them.