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.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Majority of internet users have no clue about what's collected about them when they search 

The latest fuss over MSN and Yahoo! handing over information to the US Department of Justice spurred on the Ponemon Institute to find out what ordinary internet users know about their own personal data trail. Well, 77% have no clue that companies like Google collect information that can be traced back to them.

The obvious lesson from this? Internet users are, on average, clueless.

But what does that really mean to your business? Don't assume they are savvy enough to know what information your organization collects, uses and discloses. Implied consent is, in many cases, a fallacy because you simply cannot assume that they know what's going on. You need to tell them. And, in my experience, the more open, honest and forthright you are, the more otherwise suspicious customers will trust you. It's strange, but true.

See The Register's summary of the survey: 77% of Google users don't know it records personal data.

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