Monday, January 19, 2004

Article: Fighting privacy law questionable - Fighting privacy law questionable: This morning's Toronto Star has a good and insightful article, written by well-respected technology law expert, Michael Geist. Geist has some very good comments about the constitutional challenge of PIPEDA by the Quebec government:

Critics of the privacy statute have used the constitutional challenge to increase the volume of their dire warnings. In the words of skeptics, PIPEDA is a "tax," a "multi-dimensional mess," "unhinged," "vague," "ungainly" and now "constitutionally suspect." What the critics don't say is that the alternatives breed even greater business uncertainty, create the prospect for a data trade war with the European Union and simply don't make sense in an era where provincial boundaries are largely irrelevant to most commercial transactions.

While critics often claim that the privacy law creates uncertainty within the business community, the truth is that a diverse collection of provincial privacy statutes would create a far more complex — and more expensive — legislative framework. Businesses of all sizes that shudder at the prospect of complying with a single privacy law, should consider the chaos of a framework featuring up to a dozen potentially conflicting privacy statutes.

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