Thursday, November 25, 2004

Coverage of the McInnes Cooper privacy and business session in Halifax

A reporter from the Halifax Daily News attended the McInnes Cooper privacy and business seminar in Halifax yesterday and has written an article that appears on the paper's website.

The article contains an account of my own experience when I went to a local store seeking warranty service for my cell phone. I didn't know the date of purchase, so the customer service person asked for my name. Because there are dozens of "David Frasers" in Halifax, he just flipped the monitor over to me and scrolled through all of them so I could pick out the right one. In the process, I saw all the Frasers in the province with cell phone service through one of our larger providers, along with their balances and how many days they were behind in their payments. Not a good practice, to say the least.

Businesses, customers lack privacy know-how: "By Stephane Massinon

David Fraser knows first hand how casually some Atlantic Canadian businesses treat customer privacy.

The Halifax privacy lawyer was recently at a large electronics store in metro when an employee asked for his name. Fraser obliged, only to be met with a look of confusion.

The employee, thinking it would make the matter easier, turned the computer screen around and asked, "So, which (David Fraser) are you?" Fraser not only saw all the names, but also all the [other] David Frasers's private information, including account balances...."

The article also includes a reference to our experience in "getting the word out" for the seminar itself. Many business contacted suggested that they don't collect "very personal information" so weren't affected. Sorry, but any business with personal information, sensitive or not, had better pay attention to the law.

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