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 23, 2005

Italian privacy authority says no to transparent garbage bags 

The overseer of privacy in Italy has advised municipalities in that country that requiring the use of transparent garbage bags is a violation of privacy, as it could unduly expose personal information. The municipalities had required see-through bags to make sure citizens are following sorting guidelines:


"(AGI) - Rome, Italy, Jul 22 - The obligation set by some municipalities for citizens to use transparent or with labels for 'door-to-door' garbage collection bin bags involve a breach of privacy. Instead it is allowed to have bags with bar codes, microchips or 'intelligent labels' (RFID). No to indiscriminate controls, but bags can be inspected only in cases in which the citizen who did not respect the sorting of household waste is not identifiable in any other way. With a general measure, proposed by Giuseppe Fortunato, the Watchdog for Privacy replied to questions of local authorities and many complaints and citizen's warnings who lamented a possible violation of privacy, deriving especially by the method of garbage collection and administrative controls, regarding personal data observed through the bags themselves or inspecting their contents. There are, in fact, many personal belongings (mail, phone bills, bank statements) that end up in rubbish, sometimes also regarding health (medicine, prescriptions, etc.) or political, religious or union memberships. This information, if not treated fairly, or if abused, can involve serious inconveniences to people. The Watchdog observed that the sorting of household waste, expected by specific norms, is in the public interest, but did not consider the obligation placed by some local authorities to use transparent bags for the 'door-to-door' collection fair, as anyone can easily see the contents. The norm involving labels with the name and address of the owner of the garbage, especially if left on the street, also involve a violation of privacy. (AGI)"

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