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, March 24, 2005

And the month isn't even over yet ... 

The Register ran a story yesterday (that I would have otherwise missed - Thanks, PrivacySpot) about the litany of privacy stories that have appeared in the spotlight this March. The title is "ID theft is inescapable", but the story also has other lessons...

ID-theft and privacy are real issues for consumers. The media now much more likely to run with the stories. Though I have no hard facts to back this up, I do not think this March madness is a symptom of increased hacking and criminality. Rather, it is a reflection of how ordinary consumers are concerned, how the media report on the issue and how legislators are stepping in to address this concern. Much of this activity would have been unreported had it not been for the California law that requires notification for security lapses. But that law was a response to consumer fears.

The lesson is that how organizations manage and protect consumer information is under the spotlight and bright light is pretty unforgiving. I have seen, first hand, that a growing group of consumers are making decisions based on how companies respect their privacy. You can call them "privacy concerned." A large portion can be called neutral, and they'll walk if a company doesn't respect their privacy. This is now a simple reality for companies that deal with personal information.

ID theft is inescapable The Register:

"March 2005 might make history as the apex of identity theft disclosures. Privacy invasion outfit ChoicePoint, payroll handler PayMaxx, Bank of America, Lexis Nexis, several universities, and a large shoe retailer called DSW all lost control of sensitive data concerning millions of people.

Credit card and other banking details, names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth have fallen into the hands of potential identity thieves. The news could not be worse...."

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