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Vancouver Airport rejects ads informing travellers of their rights

Campaign to educate individuals about how their most sensitive information is treated at the border has been blocked by YVR

April 24, 2019 — Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has rejected ads from OpenMedia aiming to inform travellers of their rights when it comes to having their digital devices searched at the border.

The proposed ads promote an educational website (borderprivacy.ca) that provides multi-lingual resources for travellers to know about their rights at the border. It also provides information on how to make a complaint if they feel their rights have been violated, and invites concerned individuals to speak up to pressure the federal government to change these out-of-date search laws.

“Our most personal, sensitive information is contained on our phones, but our information is given no more rights at the border than a bag of clothes. This campaign is an effort to educate travellers about what they can expect at the border, and ensure they’re aware of their legal rights if and when their devices are searched. The fact that YVR appears to want to prevent travellers from knowing this information is highly concerning,” said OpenMedia Privacy Campaigner Victoria Henry.

“People deserve to know their rights. This campaign is promoting publicly available information, and aids travellers in knowing what to expect if their devices are searched at the border. The information we are providing has been legally vetted by trustworthy sources, and is in alignment with recommendations put forward by Canada’s Ethics committee.”

OpenMedia remains committed to ensuring that the public is informed about the risks and consequences of our most personal, sensitive information being freely accessed by border agents. The organization is currently working to secure alternate locations for the advertisements, to ensure that this vital information isn’t censored. Travellers must be able to make informed decisions about the information they bring across borders and provide to authorities.

Individuals wanting to learn more about their rights at the border, or wanting to sign the petition asking for an update to their laws, can do so at: https://borderprivacy.ca.

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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