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, November 19, 2005

Incident: PC containing personal information on +160K Boeing employees and retirees stolen 

A personal computer containing sensitive personal information on current and former Boeing employees has been stolen. The information included names, addresses, social insurance number and, in some cases, banking information. Boeing says that the information was password protected. The PC was being used by an employee off-site, but the company wouldn't elaborate on the details of the theft. See: The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: PC stolen from Boeing packed with employees' personal data.

Saying it is "password protected" isn't a lot of assurance, given that Windows login passwords are not very secure. (See The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Don't worry, your data is password protected. Yeah? How?)

Rob Hyndman comments:

"All interesting, etc. etc., but really just another day in the wacky world of data security. For my part, it's difficult to understand why one would ever need the personal and banking information of 161,000 people on a laptop - so one can read it on the sofa? Or take it to that HR Symposium in Duluth, 'just in case'?"

In this day and age, with the widespread adoption of relatively secure remote access by VPN, it is difficult to see why this sort of sensitive information really needs to be on an easily stolen laptop.

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