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.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Announcement: Privacy and Anonymity Conference in Ottawa - March 2005 

This just in....

The Concealed I: Anonymity, Identity and the Prospect of Privacy

March 4-5, 2005 University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law Ottawa, Canada

* Do we have a right to speak anonymously? * Why do people claim to value privacy but act otherwise? * What are the constitutional implications of the compelled disclosure of identity? *What is the effect of imposing anonymity on women who enter the legal system as a result of sexual assault or other crimes of gendered violence? * Do we have the right to resist excessive surveillance?

These are some of the questions being investigated by a multidisciplinary team of researchers on a project entitled On the Identity Trail ( The team, along with faculty members from the Law and Technology Program at the University of Ottawa (, invites you to a two-day conference dedicated to investigating these and other privacy issues in our increasingly networked society.


The conference will begin on Day I with an introductory session investigating the nature and value of privacy and anonymity in an era of ubiquitous identification technologies. This will be followed by an investigation from a social science perspective on public perceptions of privacy and data flows. These two panels lay the ground for a very special policy lunch, hosted by Canada's federal and provincial privacy commissioners. In an unprecedented collaboration, the various participating privacy commissioners will present a cross-Canada "policy-scan", setting out the most pressing issues encountered by their offices and offering a range of viewpoints in response. The remainder of the afternoon on Day I will include a debate on compelling the disclosure of identity and a session on invasive identification and surveillance technologies.

Day II of the conference will begin with law and policy issues and will end with an investigation of some broader social dimensions of anonymity and identity. The day starts with a session investigating some of the crucial comparative constitutional questions, and is followed by a session that focuses more specifically on issues of race and gender. These sessions will be followed by another policy lunch featuring representatives of the law enforcement and security community debating the need for identification from the perspective of "public safety" in a free and democratic society. The remainder of the afternoon of Day II will focus on the broader public, including a session on social activism and the appropriateness of certain public responses to oppressive surveillance. We end the conference with a walking tour of the surveillance cameras in the Ottawa area and an artistic performance.

Invited Speakers:

Ken Anderson Assistant Commissioner (Privacy) Ofiice of the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Jacquelyn Burkell Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario

Colin Bennett Professor, Political Science University of Victoria

Bill Brown New York Surveillance Camera Players

Paul De Hert Professor, Faculty of Law, Leiden University & Free University Brussels

Jane Doe Teacher, Lecturer and Arts and Culture Worker, Toronto

A. Michael Froomkin Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Miami

Oscar Gandy Professor, Annenberg School For Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Daphne Gilbert Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Declan McCullagh CNET

Ian Kerr Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology, University of Ottawa

David Lyon Professor, Department of Sociology, Queen's University

Rafael Macedo Attorney General, Mexico

Steve Mann Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto

Helen Nissenbaum Professor of Culture & Communication, Computer Science and Sr. Fellow in Law, NYU

G.T Marx Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, M.I.T

Stephanie Perrin Research Coordinator, On the Identity Trail Privacy Consultant and Advocate, Montreal, Canada

Jennifer Stoddart Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Marc Rotenberg Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center; Adjunct Professor Georgetown Law

Alan Westin Professor Emeritus, Columbia University President, Privacy and American Business

Stay tuned for further announcements. For more information, visit: or email:

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