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.
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.
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, June 12, 2007
I spoke with Briony Smith of IT Business about the recent Privacy International report that put Google at the bottom of their study on the privacy practices of online businesses. She also spoke with Phillipa Lawson and Richard Rosenberg.
Here's a bit:
David T.S. Fraser, a privacy lawyer with the Halifax-based McInnes-Cooper, is unsurprised that Google is coming under fire. Said Fraser: “This is probably inevitable because of their size and the diversity of their business interests: e-mail, social networking, search, classified ads, Google Documents.”
There are also no overarching privacy laws, comparable to PIPEDA, in the United States, according to the Vancouver-based Richard Rosenberg, president of the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.
Lawford said that Google’s business seems to be set up to cull the maximum amount of information about its users, and that he wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that Google was farming out profiled information to outside parties. Proving this can be difficult, according to Lawford. “Following the information through the chain can be hard,” he said.
Fraser suggests that Google’s privacy policies be made much more transparent, and that it tells its users as well just how long their information will be retained for (which, in North America, is indefinitely, according to Rosenberg).
One minor correction: Google has recently announced their retention schedule for their log information, but it still is likely beyond what's reasonably necessary (Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Why does Google remember information about searches?).
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