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, May 02, 2005

The Cost of Securing the People's Privacy 

Computerworld is a fecund source of privacy commentary. This week, C.J. Kelley thinks about the costs and potential liabilites of privacy regulation. The author includes the following scenario to illustrate the potential impact of a privacy breach upon an individual:

The Cost of Securing the People's Privacy - Computerworld:

"... Here's a nightmare scenario: Two years later, you are buying a home. You have already sold your old house and moved into temporary housing, since you have every reason to believe that the purchase of the new home will go through without a hitch. In the middle of the back-and-forth with the loan officer over interest rates, he calls and tells you that your loan has been turned down because of an overwhelming number of extremely negative items on your credit report. You're stunned. You may not have perfect credit, but it certainly qualifies for the best interest rates. The loan officer provides copies of your credit report to you, and you see that it's filled with items that you don't recognize, including locations you have never lived in or visited. Your credit score is in the proverbial toilet. How could this have happened? Without your knowledge, ever since that DMV security breach, someone else has been using your Social Security number and identity and has basically ruined your life...."

The rest of the article is a good read, too.


5/02/2005 08:15:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
This author's use of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) layers to focus on different areas of vulnerability is a simple yet useful way of seeing all that needs to be secured.

However, we must not forget to weigh the cost of securing the people's privacy against the cost of not securing the people's privacy. While it is often hard to quantify the loss potential of a privacy breach, this exercise is key to an effective risk management strategy because it tells us to what degree we should safeguard against, assign, or accept different risks.
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