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, February 16, 2005

Google may be looking for your personal information 

In conversation with industry analysts, Google CEO Eric Schmidt indicated that Google may soon require usernames, passwords and personal information to use their services.

Google Discusses Strategy With Analysts - BizReport:

"- Google is likely to require its users to begin providing personal information to use some of its products and services, said CEO Eric Schmidt. Requiring people to provide their identity and a password to gain service access is common at many Web sites, but would be new for Google. Having more personal information would enable Google to offer more useful improvements, Schmidt said. He didn't provide a timetable or specify which services might require registration."

Thanks to beSpacific: User Registration Down the Road for Google? for the link.

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2/16/2005 11:03:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
There is some controversy about whether or not Google is a privacy-friendly conversation. What information do they store in your cookie? In addition to your preferences (such as how many results you wish to see per page), the cookie has a unique ID. This allows Google to record every search you have ever made since that particular cookie has been on your computer. And of course the cookie is set for a long expiry date (sometime in 2038). Do they actually keep those records? Probably. Can they associate the record of every search you have ever made with your identity? Possibly, particularly if during the lifetime of the cookie you have ever used a service of Google that required you entering an email address. Even if you haven't, they know your IP address and can sometimes get information from that. Alternatively, if the US government knows your IP address, under the Patriot Act they can subpoena from Google information about all the searches you have made from that computer.

It's easy for users to circumvent Google's "immortal cookie" by setting their browsers or firewall not to accept cookies from Google. But then Google won't remember your preferences. Why doesn't Google give you the option of a Google cookie which stores your preferences, but not a unique ID that can track your search history? Also, Google should give the option of not storing your IP address.

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