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, March 13, 2006

Privacy Commissioner investigates new misdirected faxing problem 

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is involved in a new incident of misdirected faxes. But, I hasten to add, the misdirected faxes do not appear to be the bank's fault. According to the Globe and Mail, faxes from CIBC to a sporting equipment supplier from Toronto have been sent to Christine Soda. The CIBC sent the faxes to the number it had on record for its customer, but the customer had moved and had not advised the bank of the new fax number. Once the number was released by the phone company, it was assigned to Ms. Soda.

Now, to make it more interesting, Ms. Soda has apparently refused to return the faxes to CIBC and both the bank and its customer are taking Ms. Soda to court for their return, according to the Toronto Star. Ms. Soda says her husband needs the documents for his own lawsuit. (He took them to his workplace and says he was fired because the faxes made the employer think he had another job. He is suing the former employer and needs the faxes as evidence.) The Privacy Commissioner is apparently on the case of this retention of personal information.

Here's a free piece of common sense that I routinely share with my clients: Never surrender your fax number. You can usually pay the phone company a reasonable fee so that it is not reassigned to another person for an interval of time.

Another freebie: Make sure your contacts know your updated information.

Here's my two cents' worth: This situation does not seem to engage PIPEDA. The information on the fax was about money transfers between two businesses. PIPEDA only deals with personal information, which means information about one or more individuals, not companies. It may be a breach of policy and a breach of bank secrecy, but it doesn't look like there was any personal information involved.

Check out: : Watchdog to review new CIBC fax fiasco and - Tangled tale another mess for CIBC.

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