Monday, July 26, 2004

Labor groups raise outsourcing privacy concerns | CNET

More coverage on the BC outsourcing privacy debate. This time, American CNET News.Com has a report that hightlights a submission co-written by Michael Geist, one of the leading Canadian academics on privacy and technology law:

Labor groups raise outsourcing privacy concerns | CNET A 34-page legal analysis released Monday suggests that the Canadian unions are exaggerating the impact of the Patriot Act. A section of the law enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks lets police obtain records from any company with a U.S. branch if the information is said to be "relevant" to a terrorism investigation. The request is made to a secret court that meets behind closed doors in Washington, D.C.

The report, written by Michael Geist and Milana Homsi and filed with the BC Privacy Commissioner, says that current rules granting police the power to review data are "not significantly different than that which was available in a pre-Patriot Act era through grand jury subpoenas and national security letters." (National security letters are a type of administrative subpoena that doesn't require a judge's prior approval.)

The report also says that a Canadian law called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act authorizes companies to secretly disclose data to government officials--a definition that could include U.S. police.

No comments: