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Anti-Doping Information-Sharing Memorandum of Understanding with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee

About the Memorandum of Understanding

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to assist in anti-doping efforts during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The purpose of the MOU is to share certain customs program information collected during port of entry enforcement actions administered by the CBSA. This information relates to controlled, prohibited or regulated substances found on accredited Olympic and Paralympic participants. The following participants are included under this MOU: athletes, coaches, trainers, officials, team officials, support personnel or other members of the National Olympic Committee or the National Paralympic Committee delegation.

Protecting Personal Privacy

The CBSA is committed to ensuring the privacy of all Olympic and Paralympic athletes and their support personnel attending the Games. The MOU was developed following extensive consultations within the CBSA to ensure that issues of privacy and security of information were appropriately addressed. The sharing of information will only involve cases that the CBSA is currently mandated to enforce for substances that have been pre-identified jointly by the CBSA and the IOC and the IPC.

A Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment (PPIA) was conducted to identify and address privacy issues relating to the Anti-Doping Information-Sharing MOU. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) reviewed the PPIA and the MOU and was generally satisfied that the CBSA had demonstrated it was compliant with privacy-related legislative and policy requirements. The OPC also agreed that the Agency had adopted a privacy-protective posture in its implementation of measures required to facilitate its information sharing with the IOC and the IPC.

The CBSA has implemented the following privacy mitigating measures:

  • the information-sharing agreement is for a specified and limited time;
  • consent is obtained from individuals;
  • the data elements to be shared are limited to those necessary to identify the individual and the controlled substance;
  • the CBSA will only report on substances currently within its mandate to enforce, which do not encompass all of the substances banned under world anti-doping rules;
  • sharing information with the IOC or the IPC pertaining to an enforcement action is not automatic, and is made on a case-by-case basis;
  • information will be classified at the Protected B level and handled accordingly;
  • access to the information being shared is on a strict need-to-know basis; and
  • information will be exchanged by hand (no electronic exchanges will occur).

The OPC recommended that the CBSA ensure there is an appropriate balance between privacy and enforcement efforts at the Games. The CBSA is confident that its processes and measures strike an appropriate balance between respecting the privacy of Olympic and Paralympic participants and helping ensure a "doping-free" Games or deter the use of banned substances by participants throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Furthermore, the CBSA is taking steps to limit the intrusion on privacy by sharing information with the IOC or the IPC only on a case-by-case basis.

The OPC had requested notification if any of the terms of the MOU had been substantially changed since its last review. As there were no significant changes, the CBSA provided the OPC with a final signed copy.

Accountability for Personal Information

The Olympic and Paralympic Task Force of the Operations Branch of the CBSA assumes full responsibility for the management of personal information collected.

Collection of Personal Information

The CBSA may collect personal information under sections 11, 12, 13, 95, 98, 99, 101, and 110 of the Customs Act and section 5 of the Canada Border Services Agency Act.

At the time they sign the waiver consent form, participants are made aware that they are giving their consent prior to the collection of their personal information. They are also informed that this information can be used to support the IOC or IPC's anti-doping activities.

Retention of Personal Information

Personal information used by the CBSA to make decisions about Olympic or Paralympic participants will be retained for at least two years from the date of such a decision, in accordance with paragraph 4(1)(a) of the Privacy Regulations. Records will be kept when information is shared with the IOC or the IPC.

Accuracy of Personal Information

In order to ensure the accuracy of personal information, verifications will be conducted by the CBSA to ensure that Olympic or Paralympic participants have signed the Entry/Eligibility Conditions Form or the IPC Eligibility Code Form. A rigorous approval process is in place prior to information being shared. It is the responsibility of the IOC or the IPC to provide the list of Olympic or Paralympic participants who have signed the waiver form to the CBSA.

Disclosure of Personal Information

Personal information will not be disclosed for purposes other than those for which the information was originally obtained or compiled. It will be disclosed only to the IOC or the IPC to support anti-doping efforts during the Games.

Safeguarding Personal Information

The CBSA will share information with only a limited number of contacts at the IOC and the IPC.

Individuals' Access to Personal Information

Individuals will have informal access to their personal information, however such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If it is decided that a request should be considered formally, the individual will be advised to make a request under the Access to Information Act, which is processed through the CBSA's Access to Information and Privacy Division.

Dated: February 22, 2010