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.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mounties buying Canadians' personal info 

Last Saturday's Ottawa Citizen ran an article on the RCMP's practice of purchasing personal informaton from some of the larger data brokers operating in North America, including Lexis Nexis and Cornerstone. The Canadian Internet and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa isn't impressed:

Mounties buying Canadians' personal info:

"OTTAWA - Since September 2001, the Mounties have been buying and storing personal information on Canadians from private data brokers, which have been used by U.S. authorities to combat terrorism even though the information they sell has been criticized for its inaccuracy.

Data brokers collect personal information from all kinds of sources, ranging from warranty forms, gold credit card use, travel agencies and donations to charitable and religious groups.

Traditionally, the information is sold to third parties, usually marketers looking to target a consumer niche.

Privacy experts say the RCMP's purchase and storage of such information raises questions about the reach of law-enforcement agencies into the lives of Canadians, particularly in the wake of the Arar inquiry.

The inquiry concluded the Mounties forwarded inaccurate intelligence to U.S. counterparts who in turn deported Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, back to his homeland, Syria, only to be wrongfully jailed and tortured.

'Why are (the Mounties) gathering information from these sources?' asked Philippa Lawson, executive director at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, a technology-law group at the University of Ottawa. 'What are they using it for? To what extent are they relying on it and for what purposes?"


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