The Toronto Sun reports that Ontario Privacy Commissioner has warned about the privacy risks in the planned enhanced provincial drivers' license that will contain RFID technology.
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The Office of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner has long been a world leader in privacy advocacy, displaying a remarkable ability to anticipate the privacy impact of cutting-edge technologies. Given its track record, the attention being lavished on the release of a new document on identity management is much deserved as it merits wide reading. The Seven Laws of Identity builds on work being done by Microsoft designed to allow Internet users to better manage their online "identities" by limiting the disclosure of personal information ("data minimization"), using better authentication practices, and building in user consent and controls. In recent news reports, the Office has touted the virtues of its Seven Laws of Identity approach, with claims that it will help solve Internet ills such as phishing, pharming, and spam.
As I read the coverage and white paper, I am left somewhat uncomfortable.
On the heels of the recent emergence of the CMCC, Canada's privacy community is today speaking out on its concerns with the prospect of copyright reform that provides legal protections for digital rights management but fails to account for the impact on personal privacy. Dozens of groups and individuals, including civil liberties organizations, library and education associations, and prominent privacy leaders such as former Privacy Commissioner Bruce Phillips (I have also lent my name to the letter) have sent a public letter to Ministers Bernier and Oda calling on the government to ensure that privacy factors in the copyright reform process.
- any proposed copyright reforms will prioritize privacy protection by including a full privacy consultation and a full privacy impact assessment with the introduction of any copyright reform bill;
- any proposed anti-circumvention provisions will create no negative privacy impact; and
- any proposed copyright reforms will include pro-active privacy protections that, for example, enshrine the rights of Canadians to access and enjoy copyright works anonymously and in private.
Notably, several of Canada's privacy commissioners have lent their support to the open letter.