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

ID required to log in at Indian cybercafes 

According to an article circulated by the Associated Press, a new "rule" (its legal basis is unclear from the article) has been put in place requring that the identity of individuals be confirmed before they are allowed to log on at Internet cafes in India.

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Internet Cybercafe privacy in India questioned:

"... Police in Bangalore sent hundreds of letters in the past month asking cybercafes to keep records of visitors in case police want to investigate virus attacks, online fraud and terrorism. Under the rule, a visitor must produce a photo identity card before beginning to browse. Login and log-out times will also be noted..."

I have dealt with this issue in advising libraries here in Canada. Because the public internet terminals are in high demand, most libraries use a sign up sheet so that people can book time on the computers. I don't know of any that ask for government-issued ID in this process, though some do use patrons' library cards for this purpose. Often, police ask to look at the sign up sheets, presumably to investigate offences like those listed above. Public libraries in many Canadian provinces fall outside the purview of privacy laws, but librarians as a group are generally sensitive to privacy issues and are hesitant to be proxies for law enforcement.

Like any sort of log, if you retain it, it can be compelled under a subpoena or using a warrant. As a result, some libraries have opted to not keep their logs, some shred them at the end of the day and others have limited what information they ask for on these sheets.


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