http://www.reddit.com/r/canada/comments/1ml38m/iama_former_bso_for_the_canada_border_services First Question and Answer posted here, go to link for the rest ... Q: How much information do you get on your screen when you swipe a passport? They always ask about residence, job etc. Can they verify that my answers are true? A: Actually all the information the passport carries you can see, the part at the bottom with all the "<" characters. It's a machine readable zone that uses an international standard. Otherwise, what I see on my screen at primary is a CBSA computer program called IPIL that does a limited search of our databases and police databases and brings up pretty much anything we would need to stop (ie. warrants, past enforcement actions). I'm told that we don't get more information beyond that because searching all the databases we have would take too long. The reason why we ask you about that is more about how you behave, when you respond. In fact almost every enforcement action I carried out was because someone exhibited suspicious behaviour that led me to believe their story wasn't true, or wasn't the whole truth. So, in short, no I cannot definitively verify if your answers are true, but I can usually tell if something isn't adding up.