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Executive Summary of the Astronaut Recruitment Campaign 2016

Amendment to the 2008 Privacy Impact Assessment Report


  1. About the Recruitment Campaign

    The 2016 Astronaut Recruitment Campaign (ARC ) is the fourth one that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has organized. It consists in holding activities essential to the selection of the next Canadian astronauts. In all, Canada recruited 12 astronauts over the three previous campaigns: 8 of them participated in 16 space missions.

    Canadian astronauts support ongoing space missions and prepare for future missions by undergoing training. Their work is carried out primarily at NASA's Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. However, they periodically return to Canada to participate in various activities and encourage young Canadians to pursue their studies in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

    The current Canadian Astronaut Corps, formed during the last campaign, in 2008, currently consists of two people, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques. The next astronaut to go to the International Space Station in is David Saint-Jacques.

    The ARC is therefore an activity that will enable the CSA to meet its operational requirements and recruit two new astronauts in anticipation of their participation in NASA's astronaut candidates' basic training (ASCAN) beginning in .

  2. Objectives of the Privacy Impact Assessment

    All federal institutions subject to the Privacy Act that create, sponsor or finance programs, projects or initiatives that involve the collection, use or sharing of personal information are responsible for completing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA). The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment supports institutions in this activity.

    This PIA is an amendment to the Privacy Impact Assessment Report/Astronaut Recruitment – which was carried out during the previous astronaut recruitment campaign. The current PIA should be read with the former.

    The objectives of this PIA are as follows:

    • To identify the changes that led to the amendment of the former PIA;
    • To summarize the activities of the ARC ;
    • To provide an analysis of privacy issues at every stage of the ARC project;
    • To demonstrate that the results of this PIA adequately identified and addressed privacy issues.
    • To create a personal information bank for the astronaut recruitment activities.
  3. Privacy

    A privacy breach involves improper or unauthorized collection, use, disclosure, retention and/or disposal of personal information. The activity that gave rise to this PIA is not new in itself. Indeed, three recruitment campaigns were held since the CSA was founded. Furthermore, the same personal information has been collected over the past two campaigns.

    In , during the previous recruitment campaign, a new PIA was produced. Since the recruitment activity in underwent some changes with regards to the means of collecting and transmitting data, the TBS deemed them to be major changes to the activity and decided that the former PIA should be modified.

    As specified, this amendment is primarily due to the use of the Public Service Commission's (PSC) Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) and of the National Defence's Canadian Forces Health Information System to save the medical information of candidates. These two systems were subject to assessments when they were created. The PIAs of these systems can be consulted via the following links:

  4. Observations and conclusions

    This PIA established that personal information is now collected and recorded through the use of two new electronic systems. These systems, maintained by two partner departments involved in the ARC , had already been assessed in order to determine the risk of privacy breaches.

    The CSA has implemented and maintained procedures and sufficient controls over the years to keep to a minimum the possibility of privacy breaches with regards to astronaut recruitment activity. Therefore, the current risk analysis, the PIA conclusions on the systems maintained by the PSC and DND, together with the CSA Guidelines on Privacy Breaches and the CSA Privacy Protocol, allow us to assess that the privacy breach risk within the framework of this activity is as low as it is with any other CSA's activities.

    The Agency and its partners have put in place the necessary tools and policies for a collection, use, retention and disposal of information that comply with the Privacy Act. In addition to having access to a new bank that specifies what personal information is retained within the framework of the campaign activities, candidates can also exercise their right to obtain their own personal information and to request its correction.

  5. New personal information bank

    As mentioned, the CSA has created and registered with the TBS a new personal information bank for recruitment activity.

    • Recruitment of astronauts
      Description: This bank describes personal information that is required for the administration of the Canadian Space Agency astronaut recruitment campaigns. Personal information may include: name, address, contact information, biographical information, medical information, academic information, and information related to test and evaluation results.
      Class of Individuals: Astronauts candidats and Canadian astronauts
      Purpose: Personal information is collected under the Canadian Space Agency Act and its sections 16. (2), (3) and (4), which constitute the legal basis that enables the Agency to undertake this recruitment campaign.
      Consistent Uses: Information may be used or disclosed for safety, communication and Canadian astronaut selection purposes. Personal information may also be shared with the Department of National Defence (DND PPE 810 and DND PPE 811) and the Public Service Commission (CFP PCU 025).
      Retention and Disposal Standards: Documents will be retained for two years following the last administrative modification.
      RDA N.: AD 2017/003
      Related Record Number: ASC SEC 030, ASC SEC 025
      Registration (TBS): 20170148
      Bank Number: ASC PPU 040

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