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, October 24, 2006

Your papers and laptops, please? 

The blogosphere has recently been buzzing about what appears to be a growing practice of laptop searches when entering the United States. The NYT had a piece on this yesterday (At U.S. Borders, Laptops Have No Right to Privacy - New York Times) and Boing Boing is linking to it.

It's a long established soverign right to strictly regulate what comes into a country. Increasingly, information has value and is even regulated from both the export perspective and the import perspective. This appears to be a simple extension of customs officers having the right to go through your dirty clothes on your way back from vacation, but certainly has privacy effects.

More and more people keep intimate information on their laptops and crossing a border with one is akin to crossing the border with your personal archives. If they were in paper form, there's no doubt the customs folks would have the right to take a peek. But laptops also often contain information that is a cut above the routine. A lawyer's laptop is full of privileged material and a physician's laptop is full of confidential information. It doesn't sound like there are any protections built into the system to acknolwedge this and that's particularly troubling.

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