The United States and Canada today announced they are delivering on key commitments under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan by releasing a joint Statement of Privacy Principles. These principles reflect the commitment of the United States and Canada to protecting privacy, and underscore the importance of information sharing to the security of both nations.
"The release of these principles is an important milestone in the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "They represent both the United States' and Canada's commitment to sharing information, while simultaneously protecting the fundamental privacy principles upon which both our nations were built."
"These privacy principles reflect the shared commitment of the United States and Canada to implement our Beyond the Border Action Plan," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Timely and efficient information sharing between the United States and Canada is critical to the national security of both nations. These principles reflect our two nations' continued shared commitment to protecting our collective security without sacrificing the fundamental rights and civil liberties that both our countries value."
The Statement of Privacy Principles concerning the provision, receipt and use of personal information exchanged between the U.S. and Canada will inform and guide all information sharing arrangements and initiatives under Beyond the Border Action Plan. Implementing the privacy principles will promote the flow of accurate, relevant, and necessary information to address shared threats to national security.
Developed collaboratively by privacy officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada and Justice Canada, the privacy principles are based on commonly understood privacy protections and fair information practices; and are consistent with the laws of each country.
The United States and Canada will collaborate regularly, through the Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee and other avenues, on the application of the Statement of Privacy Principles.
On February 4, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced the U.S.-Canada joint declaration, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. It articulates a shared vision where both our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods, and services into our countries and across our shared border.
The Beyond the Border Action Plan consists of 32 separate initiatives. It calls for enhancements to programs that help trusted businesses and travelers move efficiently across the border; introduces new measures to facilitate movement and trade across the border while reducing the administrative burden for business; and invests in improvements to our shared border infrastructure and technology. By expediting lawful trade and commerce into and across our shared border, the United States and Canada seek to enhance our economic competitiveness, create jobs and support economic growth.
For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov or www.justice.gov.