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.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Article: Weak enforcement undermines privacy laws 

Michael Geist, one of Canada's most respected technology lawyers, has a very interesting comment in Today's Toronto Star. He argues that the federal Privacy Commissioner needs to take some affirmative steps before privacy protection in Canada becomes more bark than bite. In many ways, the Commissioner's office is hamstrung by a lack of resources following the scandals involving the former Commissioner, George Radwanski. - Weak enforcement undermines privacy laws:

"If the commissioner's office is to take the lead on cutting edge issues and increase its enforcement activity, the federal government must step up to the plate to provide it with much-needed resources.

In the wake of last year's scandal involving former privacy commissioner George Radwanski, the office has faced significant budget pressures that have constrained new hiring and sadly transformed the current privacy legislation into a complaints-only-driven process.

While there is no doubt the will at the commissioner's office to ensure that PIPEDA meets expectations, the federal government must help pave the way.

It is evident that privacy laws without effective enforcement and genuine transparency may provide Canadians with little more than placebo privacy protection.

Ensuring that this does not happen is, in the words of the privacy commissioner, a question of responsibility."

Full article ...


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