Canadians, the ones paying attention including US Persons in Canada worried about compromise of all financial information of their and those related to them being turned over to the US:
Bank fraud, computer security top survey of Canadians’ privacy concerns
The poll suggests two-thirds of Canadians are concerned about the protection of their privacy — with a quarter of respondents saying they are “extremely concerned.”
“There is a growing sense amongst Canadians that their ability to protect their personal information is diminishing,” the report says.
Many Canadians feel a growing sense of helplessness when it comes to protecting their privacy. Seven of every 10 people think their personal information has less protection today than it did a decade ago, the report suggests.
The survey also suggests most Canadians are concerned about bank fraud, credit-card fraud, computer security and identity theft.
Despite these concerns, the poll found most Canadians remain largely unaware of their privacy rights. Some 63 per cent rated their knowledge of privacy laws either low or in the neutral range. That said, Canadians’ knowledge of their privacy rights is higher now than in previous years, the survey suggests.
Canada Privacy Breaches: More Than A Million Canadians May Have Had Data Compromised
Prompted by a question from NDP MP Charlie Angus, the government was forced to acknowledge this week that at the very least, there were 1,072,999 instances where a Canadian’s private information held by various departments and agencies was lost, stolen or accessed by an unauthorized third party.
In a stack of documents tabled in the House of Commons Monday, the government admitted it has recorded more than 3,134 data and privacy breaches between 2002 and 2012 across all departments — although many departments only counted data breaches within the last two to five years. Of the total breaches, only 399 were reported to Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.
The Conservative government said Tuesday that it takes the privacy of Canadians seriously.
I think it is a very valid basis for a complaint and I’d like to think that there is someone out there who fits the bill but I have no idea how to find him or her. Are there any Brockers with dual citizenship out there who have worked for the federal or a provincial government? We could use your insight here. However, even as a hypothetical case this is a very good approach to take to try to elicit a more energetic response from the government.
I am a US person, and let’s say hypothetically only that I work for a federal/provincial institution in a non-US country.
I have signing authority, responsibility and accountability over a variety of accounts as part of my normal duties as an employee.
In addition to filing FBARS for my personal accounts, am I required by the letter of the FBARS law to disclose to Treasury my employers’ accounts for which I have signing authority?
If so, please provide the text.
Badger, I think I am only now slowly appreciating what you have been pointing out, but my angle might be somewhat different from yours.
“There is no exception in the FBAR rules for public and civil servants of non-US countries is there? That doesn’t even touch on all the Canadian workplaces – which are ‘businesses’ and ‘organizations’…”.
You seem to be saying that both government employees AS WELL AS NON-GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AT ALL WORKPLACES IN CANADA AND IN ALL OTHER NON-US COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE– WITHOUT EXCEPTION– must file an FBARS if the individual is 1) a US person and 2) has “signing authority” over a financial account AS PART OF THE NORMAL EXPECTED DUTIES OF THE EMPLOYEE.
Assuming that the above is really correct (there have been changes in FBARS “signing authority” that I cannot understand and need to be clarified, see below), my recommendation is that all non-US workplaces should be made aware of this requirement as quickly and loudly as possible (e.g., before FATCA is signed off in Canada).
Any idea how this could be widely advertised to the business community: “If your employee is a US person who has signing authority … he/she has no choice but to disclose, under threat of penalties, the identity and value of your……”? How many Canadian businesses know of this regulation? Has this already been “advertised” by articles in business news or is it old news? Would this not have a stronger impact than privacy of the non-US spouse or that of the US person living abroad that homelanders in all countries do not care about?
Yes, I worry about the obvious downside, but I think that angry vocal reaction of the business community to this nonsense will be helpful, with complaints in Canada directed to the Ministry of Finance and local MP.
Can you decipher this definition from KMPG?:
FBAR reporting is required by a U.S. person with signature or other authority over bank, securities, or other financial accounts in a foreign country. The final regulations clarify that an officer or employee that has supervisory control over a foreign financial account (i.e., can instruct others within the company to transfer or withdraw funds) is not required to report, as reporting is limited to those persons who have control over the financial account through direct communication to the person that maintains the account [Again, this must be obvious to all US persons, but what does it mean?]. In addition, only an individual (and not an entity) can have signature or other authority over an account. However, certain persons having signature authority (or other authority) over foreign financial accounts are exempt from having to file the reports.” ???
Q. What constitutes signature or other authority over an account?
A. A person has signature authority over an account if such person can control the disposition of money or other property in it by delivery of a document containing his or her signature (or his or her signature and that of one or more other persons) to the bank or other person with whom the account is maintained.
Other authority exists in a person who can exercise power that is comparable to signature authority over an account by direct communication to the bank or other person with whom the account is maintained, either orally or by some other means.
Thanks for your help, badger and IRS Compliant. I used suggestions from both of you for the document I prepared for my meeting with my MP, Michelle Rempel.
I broke the document into sections for these topics. Of course, 1/2 hour was not near enought time to discuss even a fraction of what I wanted to.
The meeting went well. The Manager of Ms. Rempel’s Constituency Office took part as well, as he is a US Citizen in Canada. I hope to get useful feedback from the meeting and answers to the questions I posed about the “collateral damage” of Canadians like Patricia. My issues were well received and understood.
Thank you for the update on your meeting with MP Rempel. You covered a lot of ground in a small amount of time and I’m sure you left her with some “homework” too. Interesting that her office manager is a US citizen. Did he look startled by your information or did he seem well informed? Did you get any impression from Ms. Rempel that she would become more outspoken re: FATCA, as Elizabeth May has done already? I know it’s hard to judge reactions but I can’t imagine anyone listening to what you presented not wanting to get out there and beat the anti-FATCA drums and decry the insanity of citizenship-based taxation.
I wish I had time to cover all the ground I wanted and needed to, thus the need with my documentation as a supplement, which is promised to be read. There will be a file started for me, so the meeting will be the start of a continuing conversation. There was not nearly enough time (only 1/2 hour) and most of the meeting focused on my son’s (and others like him) situation and about Parents / Guardians / Trustees not having the RIGHT, even with a court order, to renounce on behalf of a developmentally delayed or otherwise mentally incapacitated person when deemed in their best interests. Their loss of the US citizen designation is only common sense (to us outside the US). However the US Department of State has a much different view:
I really want to hear back on Patricia’s submission — finding out views of how the Canadian government can prevent such “collateral damage” to Canadians who are also US Persons. It was, of course, pointed out that Canadian policy cannot change US law. The promises of Finance Minister Flaherty were reiterated and I emphasized that US Persons in Canada wanted assurance that Canada was not going to negotiate away those promises. It was pointed out that the reporting of the same issues from different sources will go a long way in strengthening what Canada can do. So, I think that means the more who meet with their MP’s; the more that submit their concerns on FATCA, the better. (I’ve sent in many submissions and Mr. Shoom has thanked me for each one.)
The meeting with Ms Rempel’s Manager of her Constituency Office continued after Ms Rempel had to attend her next meeting. He is well informed but I think there is good information for him here at Isaac Brock, specifically he should be able to relinquish vs renounce, which he hasn’t done yet. I referred him to the Consulate Report Directory and other links to find information to get him ready for the process — and of course told him that the Calgary US Consulate was one of the most efficient and best for experiences reported at Isaac Brock.
That really sounds encouraging and hopefully Mr. Manager will come to Brock to get additional information. Welcome to him if he does. Your son has a Warrior Princess for a mother.
Thanks, Em. I’m in good company here with all the other warriors.