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, September 13, 2004

Article: A privacy win and a privacy loss 

From the Direct Marketing News comes an article by Robert Gellman reviewing two ipmortant American privacy-related cases:

It’s time to catch up with two court cases that were the subject of past columns and that produced new opinions. Privacy did well in one case and poorly in the other.

The first case is the litigation over the do-not-call registry decided in February by the 10th Circuit. Everybody knows that the court rejected the telemarketing industry’s arguments that the registry is unconstitutional. It was a sweeping victory for the registry, as the court dismissed every argument put forward in opposition. ...

February also brought a decision by the Supreme Court in a case arising under the Privacy Act of 1974, a law that applies only to federal agencies. The case, Doe v. Chao, involved the improper disclosure of a Social Security number by the Department of Labor. The issue was what a plaintiff had to prove to receive the $1,000 in minimum damages that the statute provides.


The case is a setback for privacy. Privacy advocates hoped that the court would have more sympathy for the consequences of privacy violations and for the difficulty of proving damages in privacy cases, but they did not prevail.


If you didn’t like the result in these cases, just wait. There will be more decisions in more privacy cases soon.

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