Winnipeg Transit Peggo card

Winnipeg police access transit smart card data

Metrolinx is not the only Canadian transit operator sharing customer data with law enforcement.  Over the past several months, police have been requesting travel information from Winnipeg Transit (MB) peggo card users without first obtaining warrants.

“It’s recently been discovered as a tool that we can use for investigations,” Winnipeg police spokesperson Tammy Skrabek told CTV Winnipeg. “But it’s only being used in times of, ‘We’ve almost run out of other options.'”

While the practice is legal, privacy advocate are raising concerns. “The more broad and the more information that’s being provided, the more concern we have about people’s privacy,” said Winnipeg defense lawyer Scott Newman.

But police say they only seek limited information for specific cases, like a missing persons investigation where geographic information could help solve a crime.  “At least we can say which bus number they’re on, which route, which direction they’re potentially headed in and get a quick response to that,” Skrabek said. Link to full story in CTV Winnipeg.

Image source: Winnipeg Transit

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