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.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

More on biometrics and the workplace 

The last month has been rich pickings for observers of privacy in Canada. The country's leading media outlets have had an abundance of coverage of privacy issues. Today, it is the Globe and Mail with an article on biometrics in the workplace, focusing on the use of fingerprint devices to authenticate and log users onto their systems. Or, in this case, their cash registers:

The Globe and Mail: Print scans: retail tool or invasion of privacy?:

"When Carly Johannesson takes her post at the IDA drugstore's cash register in Medicine Hat, Alta., she places her finger on a small pad that reads the fingerprint and electronically gives her access to the system.

With that simple tap, she finds herself on the front lines of one of the more contentious retailing issues: whether employers' use of fingerprint scans is another smart business tool or a move by Big Brother to gather data that some believe should remain private.

'It has tremendous potential, especially in terms of speeding up processes and internal security,' says Gary Joachim, co-owner of the Medicine Hat pharmacy, which implemented the system a few months ago. 'As employers, we're tied to a lot of confidential information from our employees, like social insurance numbers. This is just one more thing that's added to the kettle of confidential information.'

Computer users are tapping into fingerprint identification more frequently to log on to their terminals, but now the technology is arriving in the retail sector, opening up new opportunities and issues for those in the field....."


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