CBSA to use GPS, check-ins to track immigration detainees instead of imprisoning them

Posted
December 22, 2017
Article Source
Global News

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is moving ahead with a new system for monitoring people remotely using a phone system that can recognize individual voices and pinpoint their location using GPS, government documents reveal.

The agency put out a call for tender for the equipment on Wednesday, taking one of the final steps in a broader effort to reduce the number of permanent residents and foreign nationals being detained by the CBSA in any given year.

The full array of new "alternatives to detention," which will also include community monitoring done by partners like the Salvation Army and the John Howard Society of Canada, will be rolled out by April 2018, the CBSA has confirmed.

 

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, nearly 6,600 people were held in immigration detention, including 200 minors.

The documents released this week explain that the CBSA is "designing and building a voice reporting system (VRS) that will allow clients to report to the CBSA by cellphone or landline using voice biometrics to authenticate the client's identity."

 

The CBSA has argued that the new tool will help officials to keep track of people (or as the CBSA calls them, "clients") even if they are not being held in a government facility. That will allow people who don’t pose a safety or security risk to move about freely while also ensuring they don't disappear off the government's radar.

Read more: CBSA to use GPS, check-ins to track immigration detainees instead of imprisoning them