Friday, March 11, 2005

ChoicePoint, BofA and Lexis fallout hits Canada

This is likely only the beginning of the effects in Canada of the recent privacy-related problems in the United States. A private members bill (the kind that usually die a silent death) has been introduced in the Ontario legislature to require credit-reporting agencies to advise individuals immediately of any theft of their data. From the Toronto Star: - Changes proposed for credit agencies:

"In the wake of massive privacy breaches involving two U.S. information brokers, a Liberal MPP from Toronto wants Queen's Park to crack down on identity theft by holding credit bureaus more accountable.

Tony Ruprecht (L-Davenport) has introduced a private member's bill that would require credit-reporting agencies such as Equifax Canada Inc. and TransUnion of Canada Inc. to 'immediately' inform consumers who are linked to a theft of credit data.

Bill 174, which will be debated in the Legislature on April 7, includes a number of amendments to the Credit Reporting Act that would help consumers better protect their credit rating and minimize their risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

'This issue is hotter now than ever,' said Ruprecht, pointing to recent privacy mishaps south of the border.

On Wednesday, Seisint Inc., a unit of Ohio-based information giant LexisNexis, revealed that hackers had broken into its database and gained access to personal information of more than 32,000 U.S. consumers...."

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