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.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Data Theft: How to Fix the Mess 

The New York Times has done a great job of providing quality coverage and commentary on the recent personal information breaches. Today's NYT has a commentary by Joseph Nocera that draws parallels between what has recently been happening and regulations that were put in place in the 1970's to deal with unsolicited cards and fraudulent transactions. When originally introduced the banks were furious about being prohibited from sending unsolicited cards and about the $50 liability cap for consumers. In retrospect, the author says, the banks should be thankful because it saved the credit industry by giving people much more confidence in the credit system. By not fearing fraudulent transactions, consumers embraced credit cards and this has been a huge windfall for the banking industry.

We have been reading a number of articles in recent weeks about how consumers are growing more fearful of doing business online and are concerned about who has their personal information and how it is protected (see, for example: Online trust is falling, The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Equifax CEO: Identity Theft Is an Epidemic). If the parallels are there, increased regulation and accountability may be negative in the short term but can actually help the industry in the long term. Read the article here: Data Theft: How to Fix the Mess - New York Times.

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