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, February 15, 2006

No negligence for not encrypting 

Here's an interesting case from the US:

Incidents involving missing and stolen data have regularly been in the news and reported on this blog. In many cases, the first question asked is whether the data was encrypted. Or, the company missing the data will very loudly say "don't worry. It was encrypted." In this particular case, a laptop was stolen from an employee's home that contained information on thousands of student loan account holders. The data was not encrypted and there was no evidence that the data was used in connection with any other criminal activity.

One of the individuals involved sued the company that owned the data, arguing that the data should have been encrypted and, by not encrypting it, the company was negligent. Well, a US District Court Judge has thrown out the lawsuit, concluding that Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation does not mandate encryption. And besides, the laptop was in a house in a low-crime neighbourhood.

See Declan McCullagh's report from CNet News: Judge: Firm not negligent in failure to encrypt data CNET

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