It turns out that the Trudeau government spied on Canadians throughout the pandemic and knew when an individual went to the grocery store or hospital, bought alcohol, and even when they met with family members.
As part of their pandemic response, the Public Health Agency of Canada contracted tech company BlueDot to take Canadians’ mobile phone data and prepare supposedly anonymized reports to understand how Canadians were travelling.
The scope of these reports is vast and included when Canadians visited family members or friends, went to the grocery store or LCBO, travelled between towns and provinces, and likely everywhere else. It also tracked how long Canadians spent at each location, reports the Canadian Press.
“Questions remain about the specifics of the data provided if Canadians’ rights were violated, and what advice the Liberal government was given,” said Alberta MP Damien Kurek.
Indeed, many on the ethics committee say they were shocked at the breadth of the reports given, which were nearly all-encompassing, detailed personal behavioural profiles, though names, phone numbers, and addresses were not attached to the profiles.
By all accounts, this looks like a massive violation of Canadians’ privacy rights. Still, the Public Health Agency argues that tracking Canadians was “not about following individuals’ trips to a specific location, but rather in understanding whether the number of visits to specific locations have increased or decreased over time.”
That the Public Health Agency created behavioural comparisons further suggests that they may have had tracking data on individual Canadians before the pandemic.
BlueDot CEO Kamran Khan says that his company isn’t interested in Canadians’ individual movement or behaviour and that all profiles were not attributed to a name or person.
“None of the information ever includes demographic information or specific identifiers or anything like a name, telephone number, email or address,” he said.
“The data and analysis that we do provide are indicators: statistical summaries of anonymous device information, such as the total number of devices travelling between two cities.”
Nonetheless, even if protections were provided, the fact Trudeau’s government is actively tracking each citizen, regardless of their reason, is likely worrisome to many