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Border authority absolved of improperly gathering personal data from blog

An individual alleged that the Canada Border Services Agency inappropriately collected information from his personal online blog after the agency ended his term position.

The complainant posted information on the Internet of his own accord, which was clearly aimed for public consumption. Nevertheless, he filed several complaints after his tracking device logged evidence that his site had been visited by people using government computers.

Our investigation determined that some government institutions may allow employees to access the Internet on their own time, subject to the government's Acceptable Use Policy. However, browsing a site from a government workstation does not necessarily mean that a department is collecting personal information.

In this instance, it was determined that several Canada Border Services Agency employees had, in fact, viewed the blog, but had done so in a personal capacity that was deemed to accord with the policy. Our investigation found no evidence that the agency had collected personal information in connection with the visits.

Accordingly, the complaints were determined to be not well founded.

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