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.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

US GAO report on government use of data brokers slags privacy practices 

Thanks to beSpacific for the pointer to the following, which probably isn't a great surprise:

Data Brokers Supplying Gov't Don't Consistently Protect Privacy of Citizen Info

Personal Information: Agencies and Resellers Vary in Providing Privacy Protections, Full-text GAO-06-609T, April 4, 2006. Highlights.

"In fiscal year 2005, the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State and the Social Security Administration reported that they used personal information obtained from resellers for a variety of purposes, including performing criminal investigations, locating witnesses and fugitives, researching assets held by individuals of interest, and detecting prescription drug fraud. The agencies spent approximately $30 million on contractual arrangements with resellers that enabled the acquisition and use of such information...The major information resellers that do business with the federal agencies GAO reviewed have practices in place to protect privacy, but these measures are not fully consistent with the Fair Information Practices.

Personal Information: Agency and Reseller Adherence to Key Privacy Principles, Full-text GAO-06-421, April 4, 2006. Highlights.

"...resellers generally limit the extent to which individuals can gain access to personal information held about themselves, as well as the extent to which inaccurate information contained in their databases can be corrected or deleted. Agency practices for handling personal information acquired from information resellers did not always fully reflect the Fair Information Practices. That is, some of these principles were mirrored in agency practices, but for others, agency practices were uneven. For example, although agencies issued public notices on information collections, these did not always notify the public that information resellers were among the sources to be used."


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