The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Privacy International - Know your Data Campaign 

Privacy International has a campaign in the United Kingdom encouraging individuals to ask for access to their personal data from telecommunications companies, including internet service providers. The campaign is called the Know your Data Campaign, and their website includes a number of model letters for individuals to send to their ISPs. The kind of information being requested goes well beyond the usual billing information that most individuals think of automatically when they ask themselves what sort of info about them is held by their ISP:

In particular, the following types of personal data are sought:

  • "communications data" as defined by Section 21(4) and Section 21(6) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000;
  • any data processed by DSLAMs/routers/switches/servers/Message-Transfer-Agents(MTAs)/monitoring-systems or other software or hardware
  • devices under your control, which is retained and/or disclosed in hardcopy, electronic media, backup devices, transient storage or otherwise;
  • case notes on incidents, events, disclosures, collections, modifications or faults;
  • records of disclosures (including e-mails) to other parties including under the DPA 1998 Section 29(3) and other legal authorities;
  • the logic of any automated decision processes as required under DPA 1998 7(d) [2];
  • the sources of the personal data.

As required by the Data Protection Act 1998 section 8(2), please provide an explanation of the purpose, meaning, and context of the information.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information (also in the UK) has similar resources to advise idividuals about their right to access their personal information.

Awareness of PIPEDA is not very high among the general population in Canada, but I expect that will change over time. I wouldn't be surprised if Canadian civil liberties or consumer advocacy organizations were to mount a similar campaign eventually.


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