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.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

There's No Such Thing As An Anonymized Dataset 

Techdirt has an interesting report, culled from Slashdot, about an experiment that went in an unanticipated direction. Neflix released a chunk of deidentified data hoping that researchers could use thed data to tweak and improve the company's recommendation algorithm. Other researchers used the data to match Neflix reviewers to IMDB reviewers, which identified many of the supposedly anonymous Neflix users. See: Techdirt: There's No Such Thing As An Anonymized Dataset (and thanks to Rob Hyndman for sending me the link.)

What's the big deal? Two things: first, those Neflix viewers thought their information would remain private and some of it would reveal personal attitudes toward sex, violence and other matters. Secondly, it is a lesson for anyone else who thinks that releasing an "anonymized" dataset would be ok.


12/01/2007 12:26:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
Hello all!

Nice to see I'm not the only one interested in this topic. I've just created a blog in which I talk about international politics. My last post is titled 'On technology, privacy, and other challenges in the XXI century'. It talks about cameras, databases, and how Governments and Corporations should manage that data. Feel free to take a look and comment or post there if you want. It doesn't have any advertising.

It's here:

See ya!
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