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.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Should service providers force you to practice safe passwording? 

While T-Mobile tries to sort out the mess following the hacking of Paris Hilton's T-Mobile account, the comany has issued a press release urging that customers take some steps to protect themselves.

While the pointers are sensible, I am surprised that none of the big online services force consumers to do this. I know that when I have to change my password at work, it cannot be fewer than X characters, it has to be a mix of uppercase and lowercase, it must contain a specified number of non-alphanumeric characters and it cannot be a password that I've already used. Services like T-Mobile, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. can easily be configured to require the same, I am sure. Perhaps they are concerned that customers will balk at not being able to set their passwords as "password"?

T-Mobile Statement on Security and Privacy:

"Along with the considerable resources T-Mobile has and will continue to dedicate to customer security, there are some specific actions we recommend customers take to help protect their mobile phone accounts and personal data.

-- T-Mobile customers should ensure they utilize passwords and change them frequently to safeguard personal information in the following three areas:

-- On - the Web self-service tool.

-- Attached to their account, when calling a Customer Service Representative.

-- On their voicemail box.

-- Be sure the password to access has a combination of letters and numbers.

-- Change passwords at least every 60 days; never give out passwords, even to friends or family; and memorize passwords.

-- If a device is lost, or notice suspicious activity on an account, call T-Mobile immediately.

If a T-Mobile customer has a question about service, or would like further password assistance, simply visit; or a T-Mobile representative can help you by dialing 611 from a T-Mobile phone, or calling 1-800-937-8997."


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