Monday, June 05, 2006

Quebec to amend law to protect transfer of personal information to U.S.

According to an article that crossed the wired about twenty minutes ago, the Province of Quebec is planning to amend its privacy law to require any export of personal information from the province is as secure as it would be in the provice. I haven't seen the proposed amendments to provide any more details, but check out the article in the meantime: : Quebec to amend law to protect transfer of personal information to U.S.:

MONTREAL (CP) - Quebec plans to follow the lead of several other provinces in attempting to protect its residents from the prying eyes of the American government.

Quebec's 12-year-old law governing the release of personal information by private businesses will be enhanced, partly in reaction to the USA Patriot Act enacted to give broader FBI access to records held by U.S. firms. The proposals, which are expected to be passed later this month, would require public bodies and private companies to ensure the information they send outside the province is as secure as it is in Quebec, said Richard Parent, a government official.

'You will have to ask the question with each contract: 'Will there be a violation of privacy and should there be a transmission of that information?' ' he said in an interview.

Companies would face increased fines - although the amount hasn't yet been made public - and would have to disclose publicly if a breach has occurred.

Individuals could also ask Quebec's information commissioner to investigate suspected breaches of the law.

Quebec's legal change comes in the wake of reports that the U.S. National Security Agency co-opted telecommunications companies to track millions of phone calls and store them in what may be the largest database in the world.

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