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.

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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.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Don't sweat lost backup tapes 

Jon Oltsik at CNet News argues that lost backup tapes really aren't that big of a deal. First of all, they're likely lost and not stolen. Secondly, tapes are fragile and probably won't last long. Third, they are likely part of an incremental set so may not contain all that it could have. Fourth, your average thief will have no clue what to do with it. And finally, the thief likely doesn't have the tools to pilfer the data. In short, Oltsik argues, you'd need a pretty determined, savvy, well-equipped thief to make it something to worry about. Check it out: One less data breach method to fret about: Perspectives CNET

It may all be true, but if my data's on the tape, I'd rather it was encrypted. Oh, and not lost.

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2/13/2006 10:08:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
The author makes some good points, however I think that there is an underlying missunderstanding of what it would take to read a tape. The folks responding to the Peoples Bank loss of a tape as an example have implyed that it is a monumental and technically difficult task requiring a mainframe computer to read these tapes.

The actual equipemnt is not that hard to find (about 30 minutes on the internet is what it took me - and included software), a few books on tape format if I get entertained (again about 30 minutes on Amazon).

It will according to the ads cost me about $1,200 to buy the equipment but it is doable, and with a little interest and insentive, possible to do.

Lets not pretend it doesn't matter because it cannot be done on with something I would buy from Bestbuy. Lets work to establish controls within organizations to handle thing more securely.
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