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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Patent for turning a phone into an eavesdropping device 

Engadget is pointing to a recently-filed patent application for a "call override feature" that automatically answers the phone if the caller is authorized to, in effect, turn the phone into a mobile eavesdropping device. In Engadget's words:

Sony Ericsson files patent for cellphone eavesdropping feature - Engadget -

"To some jittery parents, that voicemail rollover might as well be a death rattle when trying to check-in on their untethered teenagers. In an age of unfettered options for tracking your human of choice, it's no surprise to find a US patent filed by Sony Ericsson that will turn an unanswered cellphone into an eavesdropping device. The "call override feature" would automatically answer the phone from any flagged phone number (like that of a parent) allowing the caller to listen-in and then communicate over the phone's loudspeaker with whoever might be within ear-shot. The filing also calls for the ability to disable this auto-answer mode by entering a PIN which would allow parents to always monitor their kids while grandma could still whoop it up at Bingo without her handbag shouting "Ma, you ok! MAA!?" Seems something like this is just going to create more problems on that slippery-slope of control than it will assuage given spotty coverage, tech-savvy teens, forgetful elders, and any number of valid reasons to be disconnected."


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