The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says it plans to file a privacy complaint against the Canada Border Services Agency for allowing a reality TV show to film travellers crossing Canada's border without their free and informed consent.
The association also announced plans to launch a web-based legal consent refusal form to help travellers to object to having their personal information gathered by the CBSA and private TV producers.
The issue came to light after the CBSA allowed a television crew from the show Border Security: Canada’s Front Line to film a raid on a construction site in Vancouver where immigration officials were looking for illegal workers in March.
The reality television show, which is produced by Force Four Entertainment in Vancouver, shadows CBSA officers working at air, land, and marine crossings in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.
Company responds to allegations
On Tuesday Force Four Entertainment issued the following response:
"In response to allegations made by the BC Civil Liberties Association today, Force Four Entertainment refutes the claim that any person's rights were violated.
"With the exception of one convicted sex offender and two convicted drug traffickers, everyone featured in an identifiable manner in Border Security has given their verbal permission at the beginning of filming, and their written permission at end of filming.
"For added measure, signage is visible throughout all filming locations. Without exception, everyone in the background is blurred and unidentifiable. This has been true for every episode since the beginning of the series.
"...Force Four Entertainment and CBSA continue to protect the privacy of everyone filmed for our series. It's our top priority and always has been."