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, December 12, 2006

Incident: UCLA database with 800K SSNs hacked 

I stopped reporting on information breaches some time ago as they have become too routine. But this one bears commenting upon:

It appears that a database at UCLA containing over eight hundred thousand social security numbers has been hacked. Repeatedly. For over a year. What is most remarkable about this is that a large portion the affected individuals have never been students or employees of the university. Many simply applied for admission, in some cases years before.

Repeat after me: Only collect the information you need (actually, really need) and then only keep it for as long as you actually, really need it.

Personal information is like an underground oil tank. If you need one, they're good to have. Heck, if you need two, have two. But oil tanks are inherently risky. If you don't need an oil tank, for goodness' sake don't put one on your property. If you no longer need it, get rid of it. If you just leave it on your property, the risks leaks (and the ensuing cleanup cost) is too high. It doesn't matter if oil tanks and personal information appear free.

See: Boing Boing: Major identity leak: UCLA database with 800K SSNs hacked

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