Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ask the privacy lawyer

Despite the disclaimer on the side of this blog, I often get e-mails from people asking questions about privacy laws and how they affect their own particular circumstances. They are usually from people who are not in a position to pay for legal advice. Often, I get the same basic question (with slight variations) a number of times.

I'm very sympathetic to their circumstances but can't always take the time to provide a full answer. Since there is obviously a need out there, I thought I'd try something new: Ask The Privacy Lawyer. Readers can send me their questions and, assuming it is a question that lends itself to being answered in a public forum, I will post my thoughts on the topic on the blog.

Questions should be sent to or can be left as an anonymous comment to this post. Please try to keep your questions as general as possible and DO NOT NAME ANY PEOPLE, COMPANIES OR ORGANIZATIONS in your query. I will not identify the submitter or anyone else in the response and may edit your e-mail to to make it applicable to a wider audience. Any response will be written to be educational but should not be contrived to be legal advice.

If you are looking to retain a lawyer to assist you with your matter, please e-mail me directly at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HI - In September 2007 I subscribed to a well known Canadian magazine. I did not check a box on the form saying I wanted to receive 'mail' from them. However in December 2007 I and my neighbour (whose subscription to the same magazine had just ended) started receiving unsolicited requests for magazine subscripts at a rate of about 1 a week. I knew where the subscription was coming from since they mispelled my name on all the subscriptions in the same way.

I've emailed the magazine and the company responsible for these bulk mailings and have been told they 'occasionally send mailings we think our customs will enjoy' although that's only if you check the box requesting that 'service'.

They tell me the mailings will stop soon - but they haven't and now the mailing have my correctly spelled name.

I know there is a lot of work being done with SPAM laws and no phone anti-telemarketer laws - but is there any way I can legally stop this magazine for falsely advertising that they would to share my name and information with anyone else?

They don't seem to be taking my angry emails very seriously.