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.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

W-Five feature on personal information theft and fraud 

Last night (and this afternoon) was the season premiere of CTV's investigative news program, W-Five. The second feature on the show was about the theft of and trafficking in personal information that occurs in Canada and the United States. It chonicled a Canadian connection to the infamous Shadowcrew bust in the US and the efforts to two local police departments to deal with the Canadian angle. The RCMP refused to appear on camera but wrote to the reporters that they did not deal with it because of a lack of resources. Not a high priority, the reporter inferred.

The story also featured an interview with the Minister of Industry, David Emerson who was obviously very uncomfortable. A data theft disclosure law is not a priority of the Canadian government and he expects Canadian companies will consistenly do the right thing by letting customers know if their information is compromised:

A disclosure law is being considered in Ontario, but on the federal level, virtually nothing. We spoke to the man responsible, Industry Minister David Emerson, who admitted he didn't really know how many Canadian companies have been breached or how many Canadians have had their information stolen.

"We don't know with precision, let me put it that way," said Emerson. "We know in an approximate way."

Though Emerson admits the impact of the crime is huge, he also says the legislation just isn't a priority for the governing Liberals. But not to worry, he says, most companies will do the right thing.

"I would say that there are many more cases of companies who have properly notified their customers than there are companies who have not," says Emerson.

But, Emerson admits, he doesn't know for sure.

Read the summary of the feature here: No One's Safe

You can also see the video, starting at about 12:30 in the broadcast: click here. Video should open in Windows Media Player.


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