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, September 17, 2005

Push to remove social security numbers from common cards (and elsewhere) and bureaucratic resistance 

The Los Angeles Times (via Yahoo! News) has a good article on the ubiquity of the social security number for many federal government programs in the United States. While consumers are told to make sure they don't have their SSNs in their wallets in case they are stolen, federal medicare cards use that number as the identifier and are routinely collected when medical and drug services are used. This, some feel, leave the users of this program more vulnerable to identity theft.

More egregious (and nothing short of criminal), according to Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, is that military personnel use the SSN as their primary identifier and are required to stencil it on their luggage.

While the risk is acknowledged, the costs of retooling systems is coupled with bureaucratic intertia to thwart change.

Read the full article here: U.S. Policy on Medicare Cards Is a Boon for Identity Thieves - Yahoo! News.

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