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.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Just before New Year's, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review board reinstated the liquor license of a popular bar in Halifax on the condition (among others) that the bar double the number of surveillance cameras and allow liquor inspectors and the cops to have offsite access to the feeds (see: Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Offsite surveillance in Halifax bar may set precedent and Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Halifax bar gets liquor license back on condition that cops have off-site access to surveillance system).
When this report came out, I voiced some concerns that this may set a dangerous precedent. Any move to implement such a scheme has to include very tight controls over how this new-found surveillance power will be used lest it be a license for unimpeded and unrestricted intrusiveness.
In case you were wondering what the slippery slope of function creep (to mix my metaphors) looks like, look no further than random ID checks in casinos in Illinois. Random identification checks by law enforcement officers were put in place to deal with excluded problem gamblers. Assurances were given that there would be no other use of that information or other abuse of this power. Now it's reported, shockingly, that the cops in Illinois casinos are checking for problem gablers, sex offenders, outstanding warrants and other micreants. See: Daily Herald Police admit ID checks in casinos turn up more than problem gamblers.
To put it bluntly, function creep is a very real phenomenon that needs to be anticipated and guarded against whenever a new intrusive technique or technology is rolled out.
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