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.
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.
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 29, 2004
The author of Sent.Org, aka [evL] blog, has an interesting and long posting that starts with a discussion of the privacy issues inherent in GPS capable cell phones, which leads into a broader discussion of privacy issues and routine law enforcement access to personal information. Rather than summarize it, I suggest taking a look at the blog posting itself:
:: [ evL ] Calling? :: sent.org :: [ evL ] blog :: sent :: [ evL ]:
"IF YOU PURCHASED A NEW CELLPHONE over the past 18 months or so, odds are that one of the features listed in small print on the side of the box was "E911 capable." Or, as in the case of my latest Motorola, "Location technology for piece [sic] of mind." Perhaps you asked the salesman to explain the feature, and he replied that it means that cops can home in on your phone in case of an emergency, a potentially important perk should you ever find your hand pinned beneath an immovable boulder in rural Utah, as Aron Ralston did recently. Assuming he could have gotten a signal, an E911-capable phone might have saved the young backpacker the pain of having to amputate his own arm.
What your salesman probably failed to tell you--and may not even realize--is that an E911-capable phone can give your wireless carrier continual updates on your location. The phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, which can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites. GPS technology gave U.S. military commanders a vital edge during Gulf War II, and sailors and pilots depend on it as well. In the E911-capable phone, the GPS chip does not wait until it senses danger, springing to life when catastrophe strikes; it's switched on whenever your handset is powered up and is always ready to transmit your location data back to a wireless carrier's computers. Verizon or T-Mobile can figure out which manicurist you visit just as easily as they can pinpoint a stranded motorist on Highway 59.
So what's preventing them from doing so, at the behest of either direct marketers or, perhaps more chillingly, the police? Not the law, which is essentially mum on the subject of location-data privacy... "
Labels: information breaches
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