Privacy in the great white north

The true north strong and free, indeed.

This is officially a Big Fucking Deal. And not the sarcastic kind, either. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has ruled that email addresses, even if posted on a "public tableau" like a web site, are protected from abuse by Canada's new privacy laws. The upshot is that the address can ONLY be used in the context of the place it is published or shared, meaning that email "harvesters" - big business in the states - are breaking the law if they collect and sell addresses from automatic sweeps of web sites and directories.

Canadians may be reacting to this with a "so what" attitude, but south of the border this is big news. Discussion boards are choked with posts from people who want to know why they don't have the same sort of enlightened policies towards information privacy in the states. Best quote so far: " Canada becomes an even more appealing place to move to. The fact there is an actual government post to protect citizens' privacy... it boggles my American mind. Someone actually tries to protect privacy, and they work for the government?"

Posted: Mon - February 21, 2005 at 11:38 PM