Help preserve the privacy rights of Kingston residents

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The City is proposing to enter into a contract with Host Compliance, a foreign “doxing” firm, that would knowingly violate the privacy rights of hundreds of Kingston residents.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada states that “The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information.”

City staff are proposing to spend over $17,000 of taxpayer money to have this American firm illegally collect short term rental host information, without consent, in order to force compliance of new proposed by-laws and licensing. These measures are completely unnecessary as the information is willingly offered to the city by the Airbnb platform free of charge.

As an additional concern, the company being an American firm is subject to the Patriot Act, which would allow the American government access to our information with no need for justification.

It is evident from the document released by the city staff informing of their intent that the decision to use the American "spy-ware" firm has been made in consultation with KAP, an association representing the interests of large hotel corporations. 

The assumption that Kingston short-term rental hosts are looking to circumvent the regulation and tax is completely unsubstantiated and we as hosts will voluntarily comply. All this surveillance serves to do is treat hosts like criminals and sow distrust among Kingston residents and their city government.

We stand to uphold the privacy rights of Kingston citizens and see this as a gross violation of every Kingstonians rights with the potential for further erosion and therefore demand the city not enter into this over-reaching and unnecessary contract with a foreign company.