In response to a complaint filed by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), the federal Privacy Commissioner has launched an investigation of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the Belgium-based cooperative that supplies messaging services and interface software to financial institutions in more than 200 countries.
The purpose of the announced investigation is to determine whether Canadians’ personal financial information is being disclosed by SWIFT to foreign police or other governmental authorities, contrary to Canadian law, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
According to news reports, this seems to one of the few times that the Commissioner has exerted the jurisdiction of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to investigate matters outside Canada’s borders and, in part, this could stem from a similar interest in SWIFT expressed by privacy commissioners in a number of other countries.
For the full text of CIPPIC’s complaint, see:
For the Privacy Commissioner’s News Release, visit:
For a news report in The Globe and Mail, see:
For a statement by SWIFT on its compliance with US subpoenas since
September 11, 2001, see:
Summary by: The Editor