Loading articles...

Conservatives defend social media monitoring amid privacy concerns

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – Treasury Board President Tony Clement has asked his officials to look into concerns about the federal collection of personal information from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

In a March 31 letter to the federal privacy commissioner, Clement says he has asked staff to study the matter, work with the commissioner’s office, and report back to him.

Clement indicated in the House of Commons on Thursday that federal agencies were monitoring social media to learn what the public thinks about vital issues.

NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie, citing a February letter to the minister from the interim privacy commissioner about digital harvesting practices, asked what guidelines governed the federal collection of details from social media.

Clement said the government “must and will” follow the Privacy Act.

Leslie pointed to newly published research on surveillance in Canada that says personal information is flowing between the public and private sectors in unprecedented ways.