Not to be outdone by the Transportation Security Administration, the Canadian Border Services Agency has announced the installation of cameras and microphones that will eavesdrop on travelers at airports and border crossings.
The initiative is thought to be a deterrent to drug smugglers and other criminals aspiring to cross the border unnoticed, a problem that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police identified in Project SPAWN.
Project SPAWN found 58 organized crime groups working within airports or using them as a part of their illegal activities.
The union representing 45 CBSA employees at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is concerned that personal conversations could become a part of an employee’s official record, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
“It is important to note that even though audio technology is installed, no audio is recorded at this time. It will become functional at a later date,” CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey said in a written statement.
When audio recording begins, travelers at Ottawa’s airport can expect to see signs referring them to a privacy notice that will be posted online and a help line where callers can learn how the recordings will be used, stored, disclosed and retained.