Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Canadian privacy leaders speak out about privacy and digital rights management

Some of the biggest names in privacy in Canada have joined together to lobby the new Conservative government about potential privacy effects of legislative changes enshrining digital rights management in Canadian copyright law. The new group ( has sent a letter and a background paper to Culture minister Maxime Bernier asking that privacy issues be carefully considered before embarking on changes to copyright laws that could have a significant privacy impact upon Canadians. The privacy commissioners of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia have also each sent separate letters to the Minister on the topic.

In short, the group is seeking assurances from the government that:

  • any proposed copyright reforms will prioritize privacy protection by including a full privacy consultation and a full privacy impact assessment with the introduction of any copyright reform bill;
  • any proposed anti-circumvention provisions will create no negative privacy impact; and
  • any proposed copyright reforms will include pro-active privacy protections that, for example, enshrine the rights of Canadians to access and enjoy copyright works anonymously and in private.

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