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, March 06, 2005

Bailey: Confirm identity, don't legislate privacy 

Dennis Bailey, author of the Open Society Paradox, has an op-ed piece in today's Washington Times (Rethinking personal data woes - The Washington Times: Commentary - March 06, 2005). In this essay and a complimentary blog posting (quoted and cited below), he argues forcefully that the answer to recent privacy scandals is not privacy laws but a system that would provide clear identification of individuals:

The Open Society Paradox: Time for A Paradigm Shift in Personal Data:

"... For a second, let's imagine what would happen in a world with 100% perfect identification. First ChoicePoint wouldn't be scammed through social engineering techniques into giving over personal data because they would instantly realize the false identies of the individuals posing as real businesses. Secondly, if these individuals obtained personal data through another route, such as hacking ChoicePoint's databases, they wouldn't be able to use it fraudently to obtain credit or to commit crimes in another person's name because institutions on the receiving end, be it a bank or a police officer would know their true identity..."

Privacy activitsts are not keen on this idea, fearing that it would lead to the end of the right to be anonymous in many of our daily interactions. Both sides have good points to make and I hope to see an informed debate develop on this idea.

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