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 14, 2004

The new era of retail wants to be the old era of retail 

Yahoo News is carrying a story on the use of wireless technology in the retail environment, Yahoo! News - 7-Eleven Adopting Wireless Technology. The focus is on 7-11 and slurpee inventory management, but there is a very interesting quote in the middle of the article:

"'Retailers are trying to get back to where they were in 1905,' said Cathy Hotka, a retail consultant in Arlington, Va. 'Back then they knew you, knew your credit, knew what you wanted to buy and how to stock it.' "

It is an interesting observation and I have little doubt that it is true. But today, I am not sure that this 1905 paradigm is what the shopper is looking for. Back then the relationship went both ways. Your local general store knew about your business, but the consumer knew the owner of the general store and most of its activities were out in the open. He wouldn't dare do anything nefarious with the customer's information because the customer would simply walk. It's a matter of trust. I think some retailers can get back to "where they were in 1905", but they have to do it with transparency and earned trust.

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