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.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What's feeding the bad guys' desire for personal information? 

Bob Sullivan, on MSNBC, hits the nail right on the head: the reason why personal information is so valuable and why ID theft is so easy, is that it it can be used by an impostor to get instant credit. I'm starting to believe that if companies did more to verify the identity of borrowers, the torrent of ID theft would slow down and maybe even dry up.

MSNBC - Is your personal data next?:

"... Theft of personal data is prevalent for one simple reason: the data is incredibly valuable. It's time Congress and U.S. financial institutions take an honest look at why that it is, at the only reason anyone wants to steal all that personal data in the first place: the free-flowing, overflowing issuance of instant credit.

Today, consumers can walk into virtually any electronics store with an empty wallet and walk out with a $3,000 television set in a few moments. Often, all that's required is a Social Security number that happens to be attached to a decent credit rating. As long as these stolen nine digits are worth $3,000 or more, criminals will always find a way to take them.

Only meaningful reform of the way our nation distributes instant credit will change this equation. Hackers will always steal what's valuable; only by de-valuing personal information like Social Security numbers will the rash of high-tech data thefts stop...."


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