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Hands across the ocean

An article out of the UK this morning reports that the U.S. FBI is considering the development of an international database in collaboration with the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada which could potentially make personal information – biometric data like iris, palm and finger prints – of its citizens instantly available to police forces in other partner countries. The U.S.-led program, called “Server in the Sky”, would aid forces in tracking down major criminals and suspected terrorists.

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A new year’s errand list

As we close out 2007, we’d like to sound a note of caution for privacy rights in Canada. We are lucky to have a variety of protections for personal information and data at the territorial, provincial and federal levels. Nevertheless, the Commissioner took a moment last week to highlight some of the steps that need to be taken by individuals, corporations and the government in the face of continuing challenges:

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Assessing commercial activity on children’s favourite websites

In Britain, the National Consumer Council and Childnet have released the results of an extensive series of surveys and interviews with children, youth and their parents. Their work sheds some light into these groups’ activities online, including participation on youth-oriented websites, how they react to advertising aimed at children and youth, and their attitudes towards privacy.

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Not all data breaches are caused by fraud

This week, we’ve been speaking to the mediaFootnote 1 about an incident at the Passport Office: a person using their online application form found that they could access others’ personal documents by changing one variable in the URL displayed in their browser. The Globe and Mail and Slashdot report that this was likely the result of an error in the code behind the web page – or an omission in the code.

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