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, March 30, 2005

Managing privacy risks using basic technology 

Over the last year and a bit, I've noticed dozens of privacy incidents (PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law: Summaries of incidents cataloged on PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law). So often, the incidents are too similar. When I read about a new incident, I often think that nobody must have been paying attention to any of the earlier ones, since the same mistakes are repeated over and over again.

One thing that is painfully obvious is that too few organizations are encrypting their data. Encryption is easy and you have probably already paid for the function (if you run Windows XP). If any of the organizations involved in the following incidents had encrypted their data, they likely would have avoided much of the damage chronicled below:

Computers, even servers, are highly portable and very easily stolen. Encryption of data on the hard drive (or backup tape) is the last line of defence. It is amazing to see that too few organizations do it. To state what should be obvious: encrypt your data.

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