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 06, 2004

Website: Mathew Englander, privacy advocate 

Mathew Englander was one of the very first complainants under PIPEDA. According to sources at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, his complaint was sent by e-mail on January 1, 2001 at 12:01 am. He complained that Telus, the phone company in British Columbia, violated PIPEDA by requiring the payment of a fee to have an unlisted number. His complaint was determined by George Radwanski to be not well founded" (See PIPEDA Case Summary #8). Mr. Englander took the case to the Federal Court, where Blais J. agreed with Radwanski (See Englander v. Telus, [2003] FCT 75). The case is now under appeal and Mr. Englander has made his Memorandum of Fact and Law [PDF] for the appeal available on his website. His website also has other links, including a page on telemarketing rules in Canada.

The Englander case will be one to watch, because it raises some very important issues that need to be sorted out. One question is how much of an obligation do consumers have to educate themselves about a company's privacy practices and policies? Telus apparently never told customers about the option of having an unlisted number or of having their names included in the normal directory but left off CD-Roms sold to marketing companies. There is also an issue of how PIPEDA interacts with other statutes or regulators, such as the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, which had OK'd the Telus practices. Finally, there is the key issue of whether the hearing before the Federal Court is really a completely de novo hearing or whether the Privacy Commissioner should be granted some curial deference. Stay tuned!

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