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.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Update on weird questions at airport checkin 

There has been a lot of buzz about Cory Doctorow's experience checking in for a transatlantic flight with American Airlines. (See PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law: Weird personal questions reported on checkin with airline.) The author of Secondary Screeining contacted the airline and actually received a prompt reply, which is posted in his site:

Secondary Screening: Cory Doctorow and Secondary 'Secondary Screening' Classes:

"After reviewing our documentation on Mr. Doctorow's experience in London, it is evident that both our contracted security screener and Mr. Doctorow contributed to what is not a representative example of our security screening process.

Mr. Doctorow exhibited specific behaviors and cues before and during our initial security screening that caused our screener to initiate a secondary screening process. We will not publicize those behaviors because to do so might hamper the effectiveness of the screening process in the future.

That said, our contracted screener veered from standard procedure when she asked for Mr. Doctorow to write the addresses of his destinations in the United States. She did clearly state that once the interview was completed, the address list would be destroyed in front of Mr. Doctorow or that he could have the list to keep. American Airlines absolutely does not register or record that type of personal data.

Although the agent concerned is very promising, this incident clearly showed a lack of experience in the questioning process. The agent will go through additional training and supervision. Through daily briefings, the remainder of the station will benefit from the experience gained from this incident.

American Airlines is entirely serious about the security procedures we undertake to help ensure the safety of our passengers and crews. We expect that our passengers apply the same serious consideration when they encounter our procedures. The vast majority of airline travelers appreciate the increased security and have adapted to a new reality in air travel. That is not, however, an excuse for security measures to be applied unevenly, and to reiterate, we do not keep personal information gathered during screening processes.

We appreciate that Mr. Doctorow called our attention to the mistakes that were made because it helps us rectify the situation going forward. He will also receive a personal response to the letter he sent to our Customer Relations department.

Tim Wagner
American Airlines Spokesman"

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