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, January 06, 2005

Commissioner speaks up on interpretation of the Privacy Act and naming tsunami victims 

Jennifer Stoddart has spoken up, correcting politicians and public servants about the Privacy Act and its effect on the ability of the government to name tsunami victims. While the Act does generally prevent the disclosure of personal information, it does contain a public interest exception that the PM or the Minister of Foreign Affairs can invoke at any time. (See my very reference to the pubilc interest exception in PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law: Editorial urges that naming Canadian tsunami victims is in the public interest.)

Victoria Times Colonist - Naming the missing not a privacy issue:

"Watchdog: Commissioner says law does not prevent government from listing Canadians feared dead

OTTAWA -- Canada's privacy watchdog says she is concerned that federal government officials are 'misquoting' the Privacy Act to justify withholding the names of the estimated 150 Canadians missing and feared dead in the South Asian tsunami.

And Jennifer Stoddart said that she plans to discreetly warn government officials to stop misrepresenting the act to Canadians.

'When we read that the Privacy Act is being misquoted we usually follow up informally,' Stoddart said in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

'I continue to be concerned when I hear in the media public officials declaiming what the Privacy Act does not allow them to do,' Stoddart added.

'The Privacy Act does allow exceptional release of names where there's a public interest that outweighs an invasion of privacy.'

Stoddart's comments come after Prime Minister Paul Martin and a series of Foreign Affairs officials invoked Canada's Privacy Act as a blanket reason for not releasing the names of the 146 Canadians missing and feared dead in the Boxing Day tsunami that ravaged the Indian Ocean...."

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