Saturday, November 27, 2004

Article: Who has your number?

The Halifax Chronicle Herald is carrying an article in today's business section, based on privacy and security concerns dicussed at the McInnes Cooper/National Privacy Services Inc. seminar on privacy and business.

Who has your number?:

"By CLARE MELLOR / Business Reporter

David Fraser pulls a store receipt from his wallet that shows all 16 digits of his debit card number in black and white.

A big no-no due to identity theft concerns, many retailers in Nova Scotia still haven't stopped the practice, said Mr. Fraser, a Halifax lawyer.

'I know some of the largest retailers in Nova Scotia are not protecting customer information,' said Mr. Fraser, an expert in privacy law.

Under the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, all businesses must take adequate steps to protect against accidental disclosure of customers' personal information. "

Heather Black, the Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada, was the keynote speaker at the half-day event, and she shared some very interesting statistics about complaints recently brought to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner:

"Since January, there have been 567 complaints lodged with the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner in Ottawa about the use and disclosure of personal information, Heather Black, Canada's assistant privacy commissioner, said at the seminar.

Sixty-one complaints were made against retailers, 71 involved insurance companies, 168 complaints involved financial institutions and 102 involved telecommunications companies. Twenty-eight complaints were made against doctors and other health professionals."

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