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.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Waging war on pretexting, one state bar at a time 

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (aka EPIC) has been waging war on the practice of "pretexting", which is most popularly associated with private investigators calling under under a fake identity with a fake rationale to get information about somebody they are investigating. Now, EPIC is taking it to the state bar associations in the US as they have concluded that lawyers are some of the prime consumers of pretexting services. In a letter sent to all the state bars, EPIC is calling upon the ethics bodies each state to issue an advisory opinion to prevent lawyers from using investigators who employ pretexting:

State Ethical Boards Must Take Action to Protect the Integrity of the Profession

We urge you to take action to review these practices under the ethical rules of your state. Pretexting involves using fraud to trick a company into releasing private personal information. We believe that hiring investigators or other services to engage in pretexting implicates ABA Model Rules 1.2, 3.4, 4.1, 4.4, and 8.4. We urge you to analyze the practice of pretexting under the ethical rules in force in your State.

We realize that attorneys may unwitting participants in this practice. They may hire investigators to locate witnesses or perform other functions without being aware that pretexting was being employed. Accordingly, issuing an advisory opinion or highlighting this issue in communications to members of the Bar may be appropriate action to addressing use of pretexting.

See also: EPIC West: Electronic Privacy Information Center West Coast Office: Pretexting and Attorneys' Ethical Rules

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