British Columbia

Privacy concerns raised over TransLink's new fare card

B.C. privacy advocates say they're concerned TransLink's new fare cards might contain too much personal information, putting commuters' privacy at risk.

TransLink says credit card information will not be stored on the Compass Card

Privacy concerns about new Compass card

10 years ago
Duration 2:07
Some question how the secure information on TransLink's new commuter card will be used

B.C. privacy advocates say they’re concerned Translink’s new fare cards might contain too much personal information, putting commuters’ privacy at risk.

The prepaid Compass Card, which will work throughout the entire regional transit system, will have an electronic chip inside that collects passenger travel data.

The smart cards will be able to link up to credit cards so commuters can conveniently refill their accounts.

But Josh Paterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, has some concerns.

"You will be able to create a picture of their daily commute, bus routes they take, times they tend to do things," he said.

"We have some questions around the sort of security that’s going to be put in place around these cards."

TransLink says that personal information, like credit card information, will not be stored on the fare cards. The cards can be deactivated if they are stolen and authorities like the police would need to go through the proper procedures in order to access information stored on the card.

TransLink has submitted a privacy impact assessment to B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The compass card is expected to come into use this fall.