The ability to draw similarly revealing information about Canadians’ lives is just as possible, said Christopher Parsons, a post-doctoral fellow specializing in privacy and surveillance issues at the Citizen Lab at Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
The debate over the secret interception of digital, transactional records from smartphones and mobile devices, including their locations, numbers called, duration and Internet sites browsed, extends beyond the claimed security intelligence needs of the CSE and the massive, bulk metadata collection practised by the NSA.
Parsons believes some Canadian telecommunications companies could use metadata to deliver advertising and sell consumer intelligence to marketers. “Canadian companies do recognize this kind of data as a place to make money,” he said. “There is clear value in it.”