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.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Notification is the new moral imperative 

Adam Shostack often has interesting things to say about privacy. He's posted, at Emergent Chaos, about the recent incident involving the University of Texas and their voluntary notice for the loss of encrypted patient information. Here Adam's take on their response:

Emergent Chaos: Analysis of University of Texas, 4,000 encrypted SSNs, Laptop:

Since Choicepoint, there's been a dramatic shift in the way these incidents are perceived. Assertions of caring about privacy have transformed into a moral duty to report, even when the law doesn't require it. Work to undercut the 21 state laws in place by groups like the American Bankers Association misses the point. When there's a breach of personal data, the risk is on the citizen or consumer, not on the organization that lost control of the data. The organization has demonstrated that their risk management decisions don't have the results that customers want. That means the risk analysis must be done by the person, not the organization. For the person to do the risk analysis, they need to know what's happened.

We like transparency. We accept apologies (when they're not tortured or convoluted). We prefer to work with organizations that don't keep us in the dark, `for our own good.' Finally, we don't trust anyone who has lost control of data to get the next analysis right. Whatever bad laws happen to come out of Congress, there's a new social consensus, and the University did exactly the right thing.

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