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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pizza receipts land in trash 

If your data is supposed to go to a shredder, make sure it ends up there.

A dumpster in British Columbia has been found overflowing with credit card receipts that contain card numbers, expiry dates and customer names. The owner of the pizza joint where the receipts originated says they were sent to a shredder. Unfortunately, they never made it there.

There are two problems here: First, the paper should have gone to a shredder. That's a no-brainer. Secondly, that information should not have been on the slips in the first place. I am getting sick and tired of seeing full credit card data on slips that are generated by a computer terminal. All these transactions are settled electronically and there is simply no reaon for the full credit or debit card number to be printed everywhere. I have noticed that even companies that do not print the full number on the customer's copy often print the full data on the story copy. Why? I don't know but that's the version that wound up in the dumpster.

In short, if you don't need it, don't collect it or keep it. But if you do need it and do collect it, dispose of it properly.

24 Hours Vancouver - News: Pizza receipts land in trash


When Mark Schroeder slapped a pizza dinner on his Visa card in Whistler three years ago, he never thought that his Visa receipt would end up in a dumpster behind a Domino's franchise office in Port Coquitlam.

But on Tuesday afternoon when 24 hours followed an anonymous tip to the dumpster off Kingsway Avenue, Schroeder's credit-card slip, complete with account number, expiry date and name, was among thousands in a trash container.

"I can't even think of a word to describe how upset I am right now. What can you say?" Schroeder said from his home in Pemberton. "I'm kind of awestruck, actually, that they would do something like this and treat their customers with such a lack of respect."

The anonymous tipster felt the same way when he came across the dumpster, overflowing with credit-card slips and card imprints, on his morning walk to work.

"I was angry because that could have been my stuff in there," he said, adding "there's credit-card numbers, expiry dates and signatures on there that makes it very obvious to identity theft."

According to Gord Jamieson, Visa Canada's director of Risk Management and Security, "there is a requirement under the Payment Card Data Security Standards for the destruction of data.

"The data must be securely destroyed in a manner such that the account data is no longer readable," he said.

Domino's franchise owner Gary Josefczyk oversees the office and owns 21 Domino's Pizzas throughout the Lower Mainland.

He said the credit-card slips were sent to a mobile shredder.

"I don't know what to say. My policy is to shred them after nine months of holding them," he said.

Josefczyk declined to comment any further.

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