The Toronto Star has a scoop this weekend that Metrolinx, the provincial crown corporation that owns the Presto payment system, has been sharing user data with police. The Star report says that Metrolinx does not always require police to obtain a warrant to obtain the data and that the agency could have shared data with forces in both the Toronto area and Ottawa.
Metrolinx has been quietly sharing Presto card users’ private travel records with the police, the Star has learned.
The transit agency has received 26 requests from police forces so far this year and granted 12 of them, according to Metrolinx, which is the provincial transit agency that operates the Presto fare card system used across the GTHA and in Ottawa. It is not known how many requests Metrolinx granted in previous years because the agency only began tracking them in 2016.
The agency says it does not always require law enforcement agencies to produce a warrant or court order to obtain detailed data about transit riders’ trips and doesn’t always notify customers that police have asked for the information.