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.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Congress Urged to Get Tough on Identity Theft; Consumers Union Outlines Needed Reforms as Senate Committees Take Up ID Theft Protection Bills 

Consumers Union is wading into the debate on law reform around ID theft and privacy incidents. The group has issued a press release that calls for the following protections:
CongressUrged to Get Tough on Identity Theft; Consumers Union Outlines Needed Reforms as Senate Committees Take Up ID Theft Protection Bills - Yahoo! News

"Meaningful notice about data security breaches: Consumers need to be notified whenever sensitive information about them has been compromised so they can take steps to protect themselves against identity theft. Congress shouldn't allow the company that has experienced the breach to decide on its own when the breach may cause harm to consumers. Consumers cannot count on companies to do a good job evaluating whether they are at risk of identity theft when so many of them have demonstrated such a poor track record keeping information safe.

Strict new data security rules: Congress must impose strong requirements on information brokers to protect the information they hold and to screen and monitor the persons to whom they make that information available.

Protect Social Security numbers: In this information age, Social Security numbers have become widely accessible and are the key used by crooks to steal identities and unlock credit files. Restrict the sale, collection, use, sharing, posting, display and secondary use of Social Security numbers.

Give all consumers the right to freeze credit files: A security freeze enables consumers to prevent anyone from looking at his or her own credit files for purposes of granting credit unless the consumer chooses to let that particular business look at the information. This gives the consumer control over who has access to the information needed to process a credit application and prevents crooks from opening up new accounts using stolen information. When the consumer is applying for credit, the freeze can be lifted temporarily so the application can be processed. Ten states have adopted some form of security freeze for consumers.

Limit preemption of state safeguards: States have been innovators in the field of identity theft and Congress should preserve the ability of states to develop new ways of protecting consumers. Congress should set a minimum standard of consumer protection for everyone, allowing states to give their residents additional safeguards."

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