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, December 16, 2004

Outsourcing of Canadian student loans process to US results in complaint to the Privacy Commissioner 

This is the first week that I've thought it would be easier to blog about who isn't complaining to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner ...

A Vancouver man is taking his complaint about foreign outsourcing of studen loans to the Privacy Commissioner, according to the Georgia Straight: Student-Debt Activist Seeks Privacy Probe:

"A Vancouver man has asked the federal privacy commissioner to investigate the outsourcing of Canada student loans to a U.S.-owned company. Mark O'Meara, founder of the Web site, claimed that as a result of a recent corporate takeover, Nebraska-based Nelnet has access to all federal student debtors' personal information and financial data.

On December 6, Nelnet announced that its wholly owned Canadian subsidiary had completed its purchase of a CIBC subsidiary, Edulinx Canada Corp., which administers the Canada Student Loans Program on behalf of the federal government. According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, more than 1.8 million students have borrowed approximately $15.6 billion through the Canada Student Loans Program since 1993.

In an e-mail to the Straight, O'Meara stated that the federal privacy commissioner should examine whether student-loan data is now subject to the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). Under Section 215 of the act, the FBI is permitted to obtain secret court orders to obtain "any tangible things".

On October 29, provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis released a report concluding that there is a "reasonable possibility" of unauthorized disclosure of personal information under the USA PATRIOT Act. He issued numerous recommendations to mitigate this risk.

O'Meara claimed that the federal privacy commissioner's office never responded to his e-mail asking for an investigation. Federal Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart also did not respond to the Straight's request for an interview by deadline.

Nelnet's Nebraska-based spokesperson, Ben Kiser, told the Straight that nothing will change for students and borrowers as a result of the change in ownership. "Edulinx will remain a Canadian firm with operations in Canada," he said. "That means all processing, call-centre, data-storage, records-storage, and other student-loan functions will continue to take place exclusively in Canada."

Last August, however, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a submission to Loukidelis claiming that the FBI could obtain personal records stored by a subsidiary of a U.S. corporation operating in another country. In one instance, a U.S. grand jury subpoenaed a foreign-bank employee while he was on U.S. soil. In a separate submission filed by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer claimed that the USA PATRIOT Act could enable the FBI to obtain entire databases of personal records without notifying anyone."

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12/16/2004 02:48:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
thanks you for information
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