I guess if I had titled this something more like “Privacy Law Issues” it wouldn’t have sounded as “mysterious” as “Private Matters”. But, too late, you’re already reading this, so you might as well read a bit more to find out what the heck I’m talking about today.
I’m sure some of you caught the little (ahem) faux pas performed by the British government this past week. For those who didn’t catch it, it seems that a few weeks ago a civil servant sent two CDs to London. The problem is that the CDs never made it to London and they contain lists of millions of citizens who receive the U.K. equivalent of our “baby bonus” cheques. The information includes all sorts of personal information including bank account information. To say the least, the British people “are not amused”.
If you combine the U.K. situation with the announcement by the Canadian federal government a few days ago that new legislation is coming to make “identity theft” a crime in its own right (rather than having to try and fit it into other types of crime), you quickly realize that privacy matters are becoming a very serious issue. It is not that these are new issues – for example, the current federal legislation known affectionately as “PIPEDA” has been around since 2000 – but they recently seem to be forming a more significant part of our collective consciousness. And that means that it is becoming more of a concern for your employees, your customers and, most of all, for your business.
The key to my success so far has been, beyond my handsome good looks (well, somebody has to say it after all – and nobody but me is willing to do so), has been the knowledge that I cannot be “all knowing”. I have focused my practice to an area that I can deal with competently and efficiently. Other specialized areas, such as privacy law, are something best dealt with by those who focus only in those areas. But, it doesn’t mean that you or I cannot learn the basic obligations put upon us nowadays by privacy laws.
In that vein, I want to commend you to thinking about an upcoming seminar. I send all of my privacy law issues to PrivaTech Consulting. The principal of the company is Fazila Nurani, a former colleague of mine, who is a lawyer and a privacy consultant. She is giving a half-day seminar on January 23, 2008 that I think would be something important to attend. You can view the seminar’s brochure online here.
Now I’m sure you’re sitting there going “yeah, yeah, really important, you’re just giving a shameless plug for your friend.” Nope. Not the case. How can I say that I think it’s important for your business? Because I know that it’s important for MY business. So, if you go, you’ll see me there. I’ll be the good looking one!